First seizures associated with playing electronic screen games: A community-based study in Great Britain

Authors

  • J. A. Quirk FRACP,

    1. The National Society for Epilepsy, Gerrards Cross Bucks, London, United Kingdom
    2. Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, United Kingdom
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Dr D. R. Fish FRCP,

    Corresponding author
    1. The National Society for Epilepsy, Gerrards Cross Bucks, London, United Kingdom
    2. Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, United Kingdom
    3. Institute of Neurology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, United Kingdom
    • The National Society for Epilepsy, Chalfont St. Peter, Gerrards Cross Bucks SL9 0RJ, United Kingdom

    Search for more papers by this author
  • S. J. M. Smith MRCP,

    1. Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, United Kingdom
    Search for more papers by this author
  • J. W. A. S. Sander MD,

    1. The National Society for Epilepsy, Gerrards Cross Bucks, London, United Kingdom
    2. Institute of Neurology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, United Kingdom
    Search for more papers by this author
  • S. D. Shorvon FRCP,

    1. The National Society for Epilepsy, Gerrards Cross Bucks, London, United Kingdom
    2. Institute of Neurology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, United Kingdom
    Search for more papers by this author
  • P. J. Allen MSc

    1. Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, United Kingdom
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Active surveillance by virtually all electroencephalographic departments throughout Great Britain identified 118 patients who had a first seizure while playing an electronic screen game during two 3-month periods. Patients were divided into Group A (46 patients)—those for whom there was thought to be a definite causal relationship (type 4 photoparoxysmal response); Group B (25 patients)—those for whom there was a probable causal relationship (types 1–3 photoparoxysmal response, clinical evidence of photosensitivity, subsequent recurrent seizures on repeat exposure to electronic screen games, and/or occipital spikes in the resting electroencephalogram); and Group C (47 patients)—those for whom there was no apparent causal relationship. The number of patients in Group C did not exceed that expected by the chance occurrence of two common events (playing electronic screen games and incidence of epilepsy). Most (103/118) of the patients were in the age range of 7 to 19 years. Within this age group the annual incidence of first seizures triggered by playing electronic screen games (Groups A and B combined) was estimated to be 1.5/100,000.

Ancillary