Your ANS allows you to tell your heart to beat or lungs to breathe. Your brain is in charge of the ANS. The body is affected when you have a seizure.
A brainstorm is a seizure where electrical activity in the brain is disturbed. Changes in brain function can lead to cardiac arrhythmias. These are abnormal heart rhythms that could be fatal.
“convulsive syncope is a seizure-like activity that can be caused by cardiac arrhythmia. This isn’t the same as a seizure, but it can be hard to tell apart.”
You can learn more about the connections between seizures, convulsive syncope, and abnormal heart rhythms.
Convulsive syncope and seizures are two conditions that can cause similar symptoms,
There is excessive nervous system activity that causes a seizure. A lack of oxygen to the brain is what causes syncope.
It is hard to identify the exact cause of either condition because they seem so similar.
Studies found that around
The 10/20 rule
It can be hard to distinguish between convulsive syncope and a seizure. In both events, the body may jerk uncontrollably. Doctors use medical history and testing to confirm a diagnosis, but there could be an easy way for you to tell them apart.
A 2018 study recommends the 10/20 rule. Fewer than 10 jerks likely means that syncope is occurring. If there are more than 20 jerks, it’s more than likely a seizure.
“Doctors don’t know why seizures can cause arrhythmias. There are a number of possible reasons. These include:”
- over- or under-activating the ANS in the brain
- increase in activity of the vagus nerve due to changes in the brainstem
- Respiratory failure after a seizure.
A seizure could cause these factors to contribute to arrhythmia.
In a study of 1.4 million people with epilepsy,
Other arrhythmia types that occur with scurvy include:
- The bundle branch block is made of branches.
- The ventricular Tachycardia is a type of Tachycardia.
- A flutter.
- The atrioventricular block is a block.
Cardiac arrhythmias can cause convulsive syncope, which is a seizure-like episode.
Most cases of arrhythmia that lead to cardiac syncope involve
You may think of a seizure as shaking. There are many different seizure types. The symptoms are dependent on the underlying type.
Examples of different seizure types and their symptoms include:
- Absence: rapid blinking, staring off into space, unable to capture the person’s attention
- Focal: twitching, confusion; and changes in sensation, such as taste or smell
- Tonic-clonic: muscle spasms or jerking, falling to the ground, losing consciousness, significant fatigue after the seizure
What happens to the heart during a seizure?
The heart can respond in many different ways after a seizure. Different parts of the brain are affected by seizures. Some can affect the parts of your brain that control your heart rhythm.
In other instances, a person can experience heart rate changes that even include systole or the absence of the heart beating entirely.
“Cardiac arrhythmias don’t usually have symptoms. You might feel like your heart is racing in the v-tach case. You have to see your doctor to know for sure.”
Sometimes, your doctor may recommend wearing a monitor to check your heart’s rhythm. If you have a seizure, the heart monitor can capture your heart’s rhythm and allow your doctor to determine if there’s an arrhythmia.
Doctors are still learning about seizures and cardiac arrhythmias. In some instances, cardiac arrhythmia can take place before a seizure.
It is difficult to say if arrhythmias increase your risk of seizures. A person would have to wear a heart monitor before and after a seizure to identify the connection. It is difficult to predict when a seizure will occur.
Talk to your doctor about how to minimize your risks.
Your outlook will be dependent on the type of cardiac arrhythmia you have. Cardiac arrhythmia can lead to ictal asystole, where the heart can stop. Ictal asystole can be a cause of sudden death in people with SUDEP.
If a doctor has identified that you have a cardiac arrhythmia after a seizure, they may recommend treatments such as an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). An ICD can “shock” the heart back into rhythm if an arrhythmia occurs.
The following are some questions that people ask.
Can atrial fibrillation cause a seizure?
According to the
AFib can, however,
What’s my risk of developing a cardiac arrhythmia if I have epilepsy?
In the study of 1.4 million people with epilepsy,
Can seizure medication cause arrhythmia?
Some seizure medications can have side effects known as cardiotoxicity. This means the medications can potentially damage the heart. Examples of
- pregabalin: increased risk of heart failure
- oxcarbazepine: induce ventricular fibrillation, a severe and life threatening arrhythmia
- carbamazepine: increased risk of AV block or bradycardia (slow heart rate)
“These are potential side effects, but they don’t happen to everyone.”
Cardiac arrhythmias can occur after a seizure. Sometimes they can resolve. At other times, the cardiac arrhythmia can cause life threatening effects.
Cardiac arrhythmias can also cause convulsive syncope, which can look like a seizure. The 10/20 rule can help you distinguish between the two. Most arrhythmias don’t cause convulsive syncope, but The ventricular Tachycardia is a type of Tachycardia. might.
If you have concerns about seizures, convulsive syncope, or cardiac arrhythmia, talk to your doctor.