Fri, Aug 10, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Doctor warns of nonstop gaming risks

Staff writer, with CNA

A Changhua County-based neurologist has warned of the perils of playing computer and video games, saying that sustained gaming without a break to sleep could cause primary generalized epilepsy.

Yeh Tzung-hsun (葉宗勳), head of the neurology department at Yuan Sheng Hospital, on Monday issued the warning after treating a junior-high school student who, according to his father, exhibited symptoms of an epileptic seizure.

Yeh said the father told him that the boy lost consciousness, but experienced twitching muscles, shortly after he got out of bed and left his room one morning.

He did not know until then that his son had been playing games on a smartphone the whole night without a break, Yeh quoted the father as saying.

The lack of sleep led to the onset of idiopathic epilepsy, a form of epilepsy characterized by generalized seizures with no apparent cause, the doctor said.

The seizure resulted from a sudden disruption of normal electrical and chemical activities in the brain, he said.

Such people can suddenly become unconscious and their muscles stiffen and jerk, he added.

If a child has an epileptic seizure, parents should just let the process play out on its own while paying close attention to whether the child is harming themselves, Yeh said.

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