Your Seizure Threshold
Your seizure threshold is a bit like a stress/exhaustion/over-excited (sigh...) line; which, when you cross, can lead to seizures. Identifying your seizure threshold means that you recognise how far you can push yourself before you are likely to have a seizure. Please don’t push yourself too far!
- Sleep: You do long hours at work and don’t get enough sleep.
Or the baby is crying; you’re up for feeds and then you don’t get enough sleep.
Say that you normally need 9 hours sleep and you only get 4 as a result of the above. The lack of sleep could mean that you cross your seizure threshold and that you might have a seizure.
- Stress: say that you did have a steady job but got made redundant, so you stress out way more than usual.
Or, that you have a new boss who is a bully/putting too much pressure on you. That excess stress could mean that you cross your seizure threshold and that you might have a seizure.
Some psychotropic1 drugs and antibiotics can also lower a person’s seizure threshold. Hence, it’s always very important to disclose your AEDs to doctors and nurses.
There are unlimited scenarios, but hopefully, you get what we are saying.
Here is a more professional way to describe your seizure threshold:
“The term seizure threshold is used to describe the balance between excitatory and inhibitory forces in the brain which affect how susceptible a person is to seizures.”2
Here’s another, lengthier version:
“Part of the genetic likelihood of developing seizures is called a seizure threshold. This is our individual level of resistance to seizures. Any of us could have a seizure under certain circumstances, but for most people, their natural resistance to having seizures is high enough to stop that happening.
Our seizure threshold is one part of our genetic make-up which can be passed from parent to child. So, the chance of you having seizures may depend partly on whether either or both of your parents has epilepsy.
If you have a low seizure threshold, your brain is less resistant to seizures. So, you are more likely to suddenly start having seizures for no obvious reason than someone with a high seizure threshold.”3
For self-care and empowerment; identify your seizure threshold (for some this may take some time, patience and acceptance) and where you can, manage your lifestyle to minimise your seizure risk.
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1. Psychotropic drugs & Seizure Threshold: http://n.neurology.org/content/88/16_Supplement/P6.311
2. Wikipedia, Seizure Threshold: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seizure_threshold
3. Epilepsy Society, Seizure Threshold: https://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/causes-epilepsy…