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Tooth-brushing 'triggers epilepsy'

By RobotGod     Mar 5, 2007 in Health
BRUSHING teeth can trigger epileptic seizures in people with damage to a small, specific spot in the brain, Australian researchers have discovered.
The breakthrough in this rare trigger will help neurologists understand how the most common triggers - sleep and stress - can spark fits.
"The tooth-brushing trigger is very, very unusual but now we understand what's behind it, the implications are great," said Dr Wendyl D'Souza, leader of research published in the US journal Neurology today.
The Melbourne team investigated three middle-aged people who had jerking or twitching-type seizures when brushing certain areas of their mouths. Using head scans, they discovered that all 3 patients had a lesion in the somato-sensory part of the brain, which is close to the hand and speech motor areas.
The rhythmic brushing may excite an already overly excitable area of the brain, they think. This type of epilepsy is extremely rare, with less than a dozen reports worldwide, but has many similarities to the more common photosensitive type, which is triggered by strobe lights and moving patterns.
They were able to medicate these epileptics with a specific dose which "overrides the tooth-brushing trigger" and are now investigating the significance of other triggers. About two per cent of Australians have the condition.
Very fascinating news. Who knew. I wonder how many have this world wide and do not know it.
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