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How do epileptic seizures affect the heart? How do epileptic seizures affect the heart? I have weekly seizures for about 1-2 years. Should i also be concerned with other symptoms that can affect my body? I also have problems controlling my hands, dyslexi

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine
4 doctors agree

In brief: Seizures

Seizures can do two things to the heart.
First, during the seizure, they can make the heart go either too fast or too slow. This is because they can activate the autonomic nervous system that controls heart rate. This is usually not dangerous unless your seizures make your heart slow down too much or stop, which does happen to some people. The second thing is more concerning: in people with uncontrolled seizures, there is a disease called sudep --"sudden unexplained death in epilepsy." for reasons we don't understand, people just die with no cause. We think it is because the heart stops. The scary thing is that out of 1000 people having seizures, somewhere between 1 and 5 of them will die every year. That is why we try to stop all seizures in our patients. You should not just accept having 1 per week.

In brief: Seizures

Seizures can do two things to the heart.
First, during the seizure, they can make the heart go either too fast or too slow. This is because they can activate the autonomic nervous system that controls heart rate. This is usually not dangerous unless your seizures make your heart slow down too much or stop, which does happen to some people. The second thing is more concerning: in people with uncontrolled seizures, there is a disease called sudep --"sudden unexplained death in epilepsy." for reasons we don't understand, people just die with no cause. We think it is because the heart stops. The scary thing is that out of 1000 people having seizures, somewhere between 1 and 5 of them will die every year. That is why we try to stop all seizures in our patients. You should not just accept having 1 per week.
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
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Dr. William Goldie
Pediatrics - Neurology

In brief: Can be serious

Patients with epilepsy are at risk for heart disorders.
There can be arrhythmia during a seizure, and the stress of seizures can cause stress on the heart. You need a thorough medical and neurological evaluation. You may need to request a discussion concerning sudep. You need an intense discussion with an appropriate epilepsy expert.

In brief: Can be serious

Patients with epilepsy are at risk for heart disorders.
There can be arrhythmia during a seizure, and the stress of seizures can cause stress on the heart. You need a thorough medical and neurological evaluation. You may need to request a discussion concerning sudep. You need an intense discussion with an appropriate epilepsy expert.
Dr. William Goldie
Dr. William Goldie
Thank
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