Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Blog #72: A New Study: If, and How, Dogs Predict Seizures

I welcome this fascinating new study. Epilepsy Ireland, previously known as Brainwave – The Irish Epilepsy Association prior to 7 February 2013 – is a charity in Ireland. It provides support, information and advice to people with epilepsy.  Epilepsy Ireland was founded in 1966, and is based in Dublin, with nine regional offices throughout Ireland.

My Blog # 9 on LanceFogan.com, September 12, 2011, “Can Dogs Alert Patients Prior to a Seizure?” discusses dogssome trained and others seemingly with an inborn uncanny ability to predict seizures, often hours before the seizure. For example, the dog will walk in front of a patient on a sidewalk to stop the human from stepping off the curb of a street into danger perceiving a seizure will soon occur. This happens even before the person has an aura or the seizure. Dogs will lie on the patient’s chest to warn the person to stay in beda seizure will soon happen.

On July 14, 2016, Epilepsy Ireland alerted its followers that Queens University Belfast will research this topic. Volunteers with epilepsy are sought to enter the study whether they own a dog or not. The researchers also want to enter people into the study with epilepsy who live with a dog. Information is queried about the dog and how the dog reacts if the person has a seizure.

The study is part of a PhD project undertaken by Neil Powell, PhD-student and supervised by Professor Peter Hepper of the Queens University School of Psychology. They can be contacted at: n.powell01@qub.ac.uk and p.hepper@qub.ac.uk.

Lance Fogan, M.D. is Clinical Professor of Neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “DINGS” is his first novel. It is a mother’s dramatic story that teaches epilepsy, now available in eBook, audiobook and soft cover editions.