The effect of atmospheric pressure on frequency and patient's subjective perception of epileptic seizure severity
Epilepsy is a paroxysmal cerebral dysrhythmia defined by three important characteristics: the suddenness of the process, brain origin and the disorder of the rhythm of the electrical brain activity (1). Seizures (crises, ictus events, attacks) are common to all epilepsies. They include a variety of clinical manifestations or sudden episodes of disturbance of motor, sensibility, behaviour, perception, awareness or other psychic functions, autonomic and other regulations.
The classification of seizures and epilepsy syndrome takes the central place in modern epileptology, although the classification process itself is as old as the study of epilepsy. The international classification, based mainly on the clinical form of seizure and the electroencephalographic findings, was adopted in 1981 and has been further modified. In 1989, ILAE (International League Against Epilepsy) adopted the International classification of epilepsies, epilepsy syndromes and disorders, which highlights the symptoms and signs that show the localization of initial cerebral dysfunction and its spread (2). In 2017, the ILAE released a new classification of seizure types, based upon the existing classification formulated in 1981. and its extension from 2010. The differences include the following: "partial seizures" become "focal"; consciousness is used as a classifier of focal seizures; terms such as „dyscognitive”, „simple partial”, „complex partial”, „psychic” and „secondary generalized” are eliminated; new focal seizures include automatisms, behavioural changes, hyperkinetic, autonomic, cognitive and emotional; atonic, clonic, epileptic spasms, myoclonic, and tonic seizures can be either focal or generalized phenomena; „focal seizure evolving to a bilateral tonic-clonic seizure” replace the term „secondary generalized seizure”; new generalized types of attack are absence with eyelid myoclonia, myoclonic absence, myoclonic-atonic and myoclonic-tonic-clonic and seizures of unknown onset (3).
Biometeorology is an interdisciplinary science that studies the interaction system between living organisms and the environment. The biometerological warning, bioforecast, contain a description of the meteorological situation and announces the arrival of those weather conditions which may adversely affect human health in the next days. The goal of bioprognosis is the organization of preventive measures for the protection of the vulnerable groups health (4).
Variations in biometeorological factors have an influence on the overall balance of the human body, as well as to changes in the condition of patients, primarily those with chronic diseases. Le Blanc and Mills (1932) stated that one of the oldest and best known disease whose association with climatic factors is mentioned, is epilepsy (5). Fluctuation in some climatic factors, e.g. air pressure, might influence one or more of the above mentioned factors, and thus lead to seizure.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of atmospheric pressure on the specific seizure types frequency as well as on patient's subjective perception of the seizure "severity".