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Toxic substances as a cause for EPILEPSY?

Anubis anubis at Starbase.NeoSoft.COM
Fri May 31 11:01:24 EST 1996

I forwarded this inquiry to a friend who is a researcher in this field. 
Below is his reply, FYI.....

**********Forwarded Message**********

From: Mark D Bej <bejm at ccfadm.eeg.ccf.org>
Subject: Re: Toxic substances as a cause for EPILEPSY? (fwd)
Date: Fri, 31 May 1996 11:48:52 EDT

> >  A friend of me has epilepsy, probably caused by Dioxin, to which he was 
> >  exposed some years ago at his working place. He can only get some money, 
> >  if he can tell the court, why the Dioxines are still in his body, and
> > how they  are causing neurological problems. He has already asked several
> > neurologists, but they aren't sure enough for saying anything to the court.
> >         Yours Sinceirly,
> >         Uta Glatzle,

Proving the causality of dioxin would be difficult if not impossible.

I searched MedLine (a medical database) and found a series of _research_
articles, where microliter amounts of diox_anes_ were instilled into brain
areas.  The threshold for seizures was lowered, but there is no note of 
epilepsy (persistent seizures) being caused.  There are _no_ articles
dealing with humans.

MedLine classifies dioxanes under "Dioxins".  I have a good grounding in
chemistry, but I am not very familiar with this branch of organic chem. to
know how valid this classification is.

Further, there are no reports of dioxin-induced epilepsy in ***** Missouri,
where the major dioxin contamination occurred some 10 years ago.  (A
major epilepsy center is present not far away at Washington Univ., St.

> GREENPEACE is just wondering about the dioxin rate in the milk. Why don't
> you ask  this association, a file containing all the data concerning
> tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin.
> Epilepsy is a very strange illness. That's true that intoxication with
> different organic compounds can weaken nervous system, particularly
> organic solvants,

This happens particularly in the peripheral nervous system, i.e., nerves.

> I know very well this point, because I'm myself epileptic and I believe
> it is due to my work in a research laboratory.

I would again like to know the specifics. The above is extremely vague.

In general, we are finding more and more people with "idiopathic" (of no 
known cause) epilepsy who are turning out to have small brain 
malformations or tumors. Our estimates of the proportion of "idiopathic" 
epilepsy keep falling and are now well below 50%, whereas 10 years ago, 
70% was commonly quoted. BUT ... such causes must be very, very carefully 
investigated.  A "normal" brain nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMR, 
or MRI) scan is _not_ proof of the absense of a brain problem.  Our 
experience has shown that extremely careful technique must be used in 
acquiring the MR images, and that a radiologist experienced in reading 
MRs of epileptics must read the scan.  Subtle hippocampal atrophy, or 
cortical dysplasia, or heterotopias, focal pachygyria, etc., otherwise 
are _missed_, even by other neuroradiologists.

Mark D. Bej, M.D.
bejm at ccfadm.eeg.ccf.org 

Doris A. Flynn Fellow in Epilepsy Research
Department of Neurology                 Direct Phone (216) 444-0119  
Cleveland Clinic Foundation S-51        Operator     (216) 444-2200 bpr 24095
9500 Euclid Ave.                        Fax          (216) 445-6617 
Cleveland, Ohio 44195 U.S.A.            Voice mail via direct phone extension

**********End Message**********
Larisa                                      Anubis at Starbase.NeoSoft.com
"Yes, evil comes in many forms, whether it be a man-eating cow or Joseph 
Stalin, but you can't let the package hide the pudding! Evil is just 
plain bad! You don't cotton to it. You gotta smack it on the nose with 
the rolled-up newspaper of goodness! Bad dog! Bad dog!" - The Tick

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