Batten disease is a rare genetic disorder characterized by seizures, loss of vision, and a progressive loss of cognitive and physical ability. A seizure can be triggered by a number of factors that can vary from one patient to another.

Common seizure triggers

One common seizure trigger is sleep deprivation or tiredness. However, getting enough sleep can be difficult if sleep is interrupted by a seizure. The seizure makes the patient more tired the next day, which, in turn, makes a seizure more likely. Additionally, patients with Batten disease commonly have sleep disorders, which can make getting enough sleep a challenge.

For women, changes in hormone levels (such as during the menstrual cycle) can be a seizure trigger. Some seizures can also be triggered by bright or flashing lights.

Other common seizure triggers include:

  • Stress, illness, or fever
  • Alcohol, caffeine, or high-calorie foods
  • Irregular meal times or low blood sugar
  • Not taking prescribed anticonvulsants or failing to take them on a regular schedule

Ways to avoid seizure triggers

Keeping a seizure diary or log can help identify seizure triggers. Organizations such as the Epilepsy Society, Epilepsy Action, and Epilepsy Foundation have seizure diary templates, which should be kept with the patient’s emergency seizure management plan.  In general, patients or their caregivers should record the time and date of the seizure, and as much detail as possible about what might have triggered the seizure. Identifying and avoiding seizure triggers can, to an extent, reduce the frequency and severity of seizures.

For those whose seizures are triggered during sleep or at night, a seizure alarm or seizure alert device is recommended.

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Batten Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.