Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dogs May Be Responding To Psychological Seizures, Not Epilepsy Seizures

Date:
January 23, 2007
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
Reports of dogs that can predict their owners' epilepsy seizures have been anecdotal and not objectively confirmed by doctors and researchers. Some people obtain service dogs trained specifically for people with seizures. In two new studies published in the Jan. 23, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology, researchers found that in some cases these dogs are responding to seizures caused not by epilepsy, but by psychological conditions.

Reports of dogs that can predict their owners' epilepsy seizures have been anecdotal and not objectively confirmed by doctors and researchers. Some people obtain service dogs trained specifically for people with seizures. In two new studies published in the January 23, 2007, issue of Neurology®, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology, researchers found that in some cases these dogs are responding to seizures caused not by epilepsy, but by psychological conditions.

Related Articles


"People with psychogenic seizures need psychiatric evaluation and appropriate treatment, not a specially trained dog for epileptic seizures," said study author Gregory L. Krauss, MD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

"This is important because the treatment is very different for a person with epilepsy and one with psychological seizures, which stem from emotional difficulties," said Krauss. "Epilepsy drugs are not effective for psychological seizures, and they often have side effects. And with proper treatment and counseling, psychological seizures can often be eliminated."

For the studies, researchers monitored seven people with seizure response dogs. Most were monitored with video electroencephalogram (EEG) tests to track seizures and electrical activity in the brain. Epileptic seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. For four of the people, unlike people with epilepsy, there was no abnormal electrical activity during seizures, and they were diagnosed with psychological seizures. Another person did not have the EEG test, but was also diagnosed with psychological seizures.

Krauss said it's possible that people with psychological seizures may seek out service animals for support. He noted that some people with epileptic seizures may benefit from seizure response dogs.

"Seizure response dogs can help people during seizures and stay by them when they are unconscious and provide companionship that aids them in dealing with a chronic disorder," Krauss said. "People with nonepileptic seizures require psychiatric evaluation and behavior therapy. This study demonstrates the importance of establishing an accurate diagnosis of epilepsy before obtaining a seizure response dog."

Study author Michael J. Doherty, MD, of the Swedish Epilepsy Center in Seattle, Washington, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, said the findings raise several questions that need to be further investigated. "If dogs can predict psychological seizures, could the seizures be a conditioned response to stereotypical dog behaviors? Does having a seizure alert dog lead people to have psychological seizures more or less often? Given the cost of training seizure alert dogs, should people requesting one be screened for psychological seizures?"


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "Dogs May Be Responding To Psychological Seizures, Not Epilepsy Seizures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070122183251.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2007, January 23). Dogs May Be Responding To Psychological Seizures, Not Epilepsy Seizures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070122183251.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Dogs May Be Responding To Psychological Seizures, Not Epilepsy Seizures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070122183251.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins