Computer Triggered Seizures

Your playing a game on your computer all of a sudden you’re dizzy, have déjà vu, loss or blurred vision, a tingling Feeling, you’re getting lightheaded, nauseous, fear and panic are setting in, your having difficulty talking and breathing, you start drooling, your eyes start to flutter and roll up, your heart is racing and you start to shake uncontrollably then you go into convulsions. You just experienced some of the many symptoms caused by a seizure.

Not all computer-triggered seizures will result in the above-mentioned symptoms and may be much milder. People who have Seizures that are caused by computers or televisions are known as photosensitive and pattern-sensitive epileptics.

Dr Giuseppe Erba MD states:

“Certain individuals are born with special sensitivity to flashing lights or contrasting visual patterns, such as stripes, grids and checkerboards. Because of this condition, their brain will produce seizures when exposed to this type of visual stimulation.” Dr Erba goes on to say this type of seizure is genetic and may be present in several members of one family usually affecting children and adolescents before age 20.

There are also people who experience seizures from computer games that are not epileptics. It is not just flashing lights or patterns that may cause the seizure but the frequency at which the lights or patterns are generated, which is anywhere from 5 to 30 flashes per second.

Children or teens will be most affected if they are sleep deprived or have consumed alcoholic beverages. Texting messages and playing games on computers with large screens till all hours of the morning sets them up for computer triggered seizures. Ozzy Osborne lyrics depict some of our high tech kids well when he sang: “I don’t know what I’m doing all I know is I don’t want to stop”.

Computer triggered seizures are a reality. An article in Wired Magazine written by Kevin Poulsen 03-28-08 states how serious this could be. When the following incident took place it may be the first computer hacking attack to actually inflict physical harm on its victims.

Hackers Assault Epilepsy Patients via Computer “Internet griefers descended on an epilepsy support message board last weekend and used JavaScript code and flashing computer animation to trigger migraine headaches and seizures in some users.” “The attackers turned to a more effective tactic on Sunday, injecting JavaScript into some posts that redirected users’ browsers to a page with a more complex image designed to trigger seizures in both photosensitive and pattern-sensitive epileptics

“A similar kind of effect occurred accidentally during an episode of the original Pokemon anime, aired on December 16, 1997. According to Bill Christensen During one sequence, Pikachu stops some vaccine missiles with its Thunderbolt attack; the resulting explosion was done with a technique called “paki paki.” Bright strobe lights blinked at 12 Hz full screen for several seconds. “Thousands of viewers reported a wide variety of symptoms: nausea, headaches, blurred vision, seizures and convulsions. Doctors found that only a very small number were actually children with photosensitive epilepsy”.

There is no question that flashing lights and patterns can affect the brains visual cortex, which may cause multiple symptoms. In fact the military has come up with a new generation of non-lethal strobe light weapons. The scientific community was not convinced of its effectiveness, but after the test results the project became classified and secret (this is what the military calls going black). Wired magazine reported on the project March 3, 2009 in an article entitled:

“Strobe Weapons Go Black After Mobilization’ Tests”

David Hambling quotes a researcher, who wishes to remain anonymous but whose credentials check out.

“There have been a number of [unpublished] studies on strobing of light and other electromagnetic sources that can not only render people dazzled, but also unconscious and even to the point of seizing (like epileptic seizures). The point of undiagnosed light sensitive epilepsy is an underreported phenomenon and was partially responsible for this project going black. It is possible to photically drive just about everyone and find the point at which their visual cortex “drives” or responds to the frequency that is being presented as a visual stimulus… if the stimulus is powerful and coherent enough, just about everyone can be affected.”

Computers can trigger seizures and people watching TV also have experienced some of the same kind of symptoms. It has even been reported that a person while traveling on a train, looking at the light between fence posts or the glare of light from a nearby lake between the moving leaves of a tree, has experienced seizures. So what do you do if you are a photosensitive and pattern-sensitive epileptic? Some of the suggestions that may help to avert computer-triggered seizures are:

  1. Avoid working or playing on the computer if you are tired.
  2. Look away from the screen frequently.
  3. Cover one eye if you are feeling ill
  4. Do not play on the computer if you had alcoholic beverages.
  5. Limit the time you spend on the computer, just to name a few.
Posted by Bill Conkis in Health