John Bryson: Did Seizures Lead to Car Accidents?


As Dr. Fisher pointed out, a possible explanation for Bryson's behavior Saturday night is what is called a "postictal state," where the sufferer continues to have a disturbance after the seizure stops. Prolonged seizures -- called status epilepticus -- can require heavy medication in order to be halted.

Dr. Gregory L. Barkley, medical director at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital, said he believes Bryson's behavior might have been the result of a seizure.

"It is quite possible for someone to behave in a semi-automatic fashion during and after a complex partial seizure," he says. "The scenario of more than one minor accidents during a seizure and the postictal phase is rare, but not unheard of."

Barkley said that in such an instance, a full medical work up is necessary, and that a review of precipitating factors and medication adjustment would be needed.

Although Bryson's medical history hasn't been made public, it is widely believed that people who have frequent seizures, or any kind of lapse of consciousness disorder, should not be behind the wheel of a car. In California, as in many states, sufferers must be seizure-free up to six months before they can drive again.

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