t’s Good to Know: Music Seizures

Musicogenic epilepsy is a rare condition (only 150 cases have ever been reported) in which sufferers have seizures when they hear certain types of music. The seizure-inducing tunes are different for each individual, and range from classical to reggae to jazz to rock and pop.

Doctors aren’t sure why the music has such a negative effect on these patients, but they think it might have something to do with the rhythmic pattern affecting brain activity. As with other forms of epilepsy, sometimes this condition can be treated with medication. Surgery to remove part of the brain is the last resort.

(Source: Scientific American)

  • Catherine D. Roy

    I’ve been reacting negatively to ‘bad’ music in the past couple months, literally fleeing concerts in a panic, fingers in my ears, hunching over trying to block the sound if the treble is too high, or louder than the bass or mids. If the music isn’t ‘equal’ with all parts in line running smooth thru my body in a rhythm it’s unbearable. I have to sit in my car and listen to ‘good’ music to ‘smooth’ me out. It’s a drug when it’s good. I can’t turn it off. I am literally trapped in my car, unable to turn it off. I have done laps around my neighborhood, slowly lowing the music until I reach the final conclusion that I HAVE to turn it off. In the past week I started to notice I could NOT keep my eyes open when the sound was good. My head goes back, eyes shut, I’m sure I look like I’m tripping on acid or something. It started happening while driving last night. Now my good music is controlling me. I pulled over, couldn’t stop listening, then I noticed my body tightening, my temples to between by eyebrows straight to the entire top of my brain was in a rolling turmoil not sure whether to enjoy or fight the feeling. It was like a musical orgasm..then I had a seizure. Not my normal partial complex, I was aware, but locked up turned sideways in my car. I figured out that my entire body was trying to ‘balance’ the music because my left front speaker wasn’t working. Muscles under my ear tightened trying block the sound, leaving only the right side to interpret what it was hearing. I reached in desperation for the radio, still undecided whether to enjoy this smooth rolling rush overcoming me, or stop this seizure. I was totally exhausted after and noticed I couldn’t be in a room with lights. I slept with an eye mask in silence. Normally I listen to music. I enjoy any genre of music as long as it’s perfect sound, rhythm, no drops, singer can sing, bass there to balance the treble. I’ve always said a good song has to be felt from the groin to the top of my chest, each area feeling the different parts..bass, mids, treble.. I’m weird I know. I go to 50 concerts a year because music is my drug that fixes me and I’ve found only musicians understand some of what I’m saying.