Epilepsy and paroxysmal conditions

Advanced search

Additional options for non-pharmacological treatment of epilepsy

Full Text:


Objective: to study the effect of blue polarizing glasses on photosensitivity in patients with photosensitive epilepsy (PSE). Materials and methods. On the backdrop of red light stimulation, EEG and daytime video EEG recordings were performed in 19 patients with epilepsy (15 women, 4 men) aged from 14 to 41 years. Among those, 8 patients had juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), 2 – eyelid myoclonus with absences, 6 – generalized epilepsy, 1 – juvenile absence epilepsy (JAA), and 2 patients had unspecified (cryptogenic) focal epilepsy. All patients underwent photo-stimulation (PS) with an increasing light frequency from 1 to 31 Hz (in 3 Hz steps). The PS procedure was carried out twice: without and with the use of blue polarizing glasses with a degree of darkness of 50%. Results. In 19 patients with PSE, we observed a photo-paroxysmal response at frequencies of 10, 13, 15, 16, 19, and 21 Hz. In the same individual, this photo-paroxysmal response could have manifested either in a burst of epileptic activity without clinical symptoms or in myoclonus / myoclonia with absences. In 8 (42.1%) patients, there was a decrease in epileptic activity upon photo-stimulation: a decrease in the duration of the acute peak-slow-wave activity or a zero epileptic activity at one frequency on the backdrop of a notable epileptic activity at other frequencies. In 3 (15.8%) patients, who were using the blue glasses, there were neither seizures nor epileptic activity at all. In one case (5.3%), there was no seizure but the PS-induced epileptiform activity did occur. The disappearance of subclinical epileptic activity was noted in 2 (10.5%) cases. Conclusion. Blue polarizing glasses can be used as an additional means of non-pharmacological therapy of PSE. The protective effect may be associated with a decrease in the melatonin content in the daytime.

About the Authors

O. M. Oleynikova
Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University
Russian Federation

MD, PhD, Associate Professor at the Department of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Medical Genetics

1 Ostrovityanova Str., Moscow 117997, Russia

A. A. Sarapulova
“Nevromed” Medical Center
Russian Federation

MD, Neurologist

17-1-3 B. Ovchinnikovsky per., Moscow 115184, Russia

G. N. Avakyan
Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University
Russian Federation

MD, PhD, Honored Scientist of Russia, Professor at the Department of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Medical Genetics

1 Ostrovityanova Str., Moscow 117997, Russia


1. Quirk J. A., Fish D. R., Smith S. J., Sander J. W., Shorvon S. D., Allen P. J. Incidence of photosensitive epilepsy: a prospective national study. Electroencephalogr. Clin Neurophysiol. 1995; 95 (4): 260-267.

2. Avakyan G. N. Modern epileptology. Problems and solutions. Epilepsiya i paroksizmal’nye sostoyaniya / Epilepsy and paroxysmal conditions. 2014; 6 (4): 46-49. (In Russ.).

3. Takada H., Aso K., Watanabe K., Okumura A., Negoro T., Ishikawa T. Epileptic seizures induced by animated cartoon, “Pocket Monster”. Epilepsia. 1999 Jul; 40 (7): 997-1002.

4. Haigh S. M., Cooper N. R., Wilkins A. J. Chromaticity separation and the alpha response. Neuropsychologia. 2018 Jan; 8 (108): 1-5.

5. Takahashi T., Tsukahara Y. Usefulness of blue sunglasses in photosensitive epilepsy. Epilepsia. 1992; 33 (3): 517-21.

6. Wilkins A., Baker A., Amin D. et al. Treatment of photosensitive epilepsy using colored glasses. Seziere. 1999; 8: 444-449.

7. Parra J., Lopes da Silva F. H., Stroink H., Kalitzin S. Is colour modulation an independent factor in human visual photosensitivity? Brain. 2007 Jun; 130 (6): 1679-89.

8. Jain S., Woodruff G., Bissessar E. A. Cross polarized spectacles in photosensitive epilepsy. Journal of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. 2001; 38: 331-334.

9. Kopecs M. R., Boro A., Haut S. et al. A novel nonpharmacologic treatment for photosensitive epilepsy: a report of three patients tested with blue cross-polarized glasses. Epilepsia. 2004; 45: 1158-1162.

10. Capovilla G., Gambardella A., Rubboli G. et al. Suppressive efficacy by a commercially available blue lens on PPR in 610 photosensitive epilepsy patients. Epilepsia. 2006; 47: 529-533.

11. Alieva N. A. Selective chromotherapy in the optimization of complex treatment of arterial hypertension in employees of locomotive crews. PhD diss. Moscow. 2010; 22 s. (In Russ.).

12. Osipova M. A., Arkov V. V., Tonevitsky A. G. Modulation of α-rhythm and autonomic status of human by color photostimulation. Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine. 2010. Т. 149. № 6. С. 759-762. (In Russ.).

13. Jeavons P. M., Harding G. F. Clinics in Developmental Medicine. 56. London, England: William Heineman Medical Books; 1975. Photosensitive epilepsy: a review of the literature and a study of 460 patients; 1-121.

14. Panayiotopoulos C. P. The Epilepsies: Seizures, Syndromes and Management. Oxford shire, UK: Bladen Medical Publishing. 2005.

15. Kajgorodova N.3., Yacenko M. V. The initial level of activation and the effectiveness of mental performance, depending on the individualtypological features (Yerkes-Dodson law). Valeologiya. 2001; 4; 31-36. (In Russ.).

16. López L., Thomson A., Rabinowicz A. L. Assessment of color vision in epileptic patients exposed to single-drug therapy. Eur Neurol. 1999; 41 (4): 201-5.

17. Sorri I., Kälviäinen R., Mäntyjärvi M. Color vision and contrast sensitivity in epilepsy patients treated with initial tiagabine monotherapy. Epilepsy Res. 2005 Dec; 67 (3): 101-7.

18. Danesi M. A. Seasonal variations in the incidence of photo paroxysmal response to stimulation among photosensitive epileptic patients: evidence from repeated EEG recordings. J. Neurol. Neurosurgery Psychiatry. 1988; 51: 875-877.

19. Oleynikova O. M., Kareva E. N., Bogomazova M. A., Avakyan G. G., Lagutin Y. V., Avakyan G. N. Epilepsy and pineal hormone: current state of the problem. Epilepsiya i paroksizmal’nye sostoyaniya / Epilepsy and paroxysmal conditions. 2011; 3 (4): 22-27. (In Russ.).

20. Avakyan G. N., Olejnikova O. M., Kareva E. N., Bogomazova M. A., Avakyan G. G., Lagutin Yu.V., Sarkisyan K. V., Delger L. B. The state of the circadian epiphyseal chronogormone with epilepsy. Epilepsiya i paroksizmal’nye sostoyaniya / Epilepsy and paroxysmal conditions. 2013; 5 (4): 39-40. (In Russ.)

21. Oleinikova O. M., Kareva E. N., Avakyan G. G., Bogomazova M. A., Avakyan G. N. Melatonin and epilepsy: analysis of influence of planetary geomagnetic factors. Epilepsiya i paroksizmal’nye sostoyaniya / Epilepsy and paroxysmal conditions. 2015; 7 (4): 29-34. (In Russ.)

22. Brainard G. C., Hanifin J. P., Greeson J. M., Byrne B., Glickman G., Gerner E., Rollag M. D. Action spectrum for melatonin regulation in humans: evidence for a novel circadian photoreceptor. J Neurosci. 2001; 21: 6405-6412.

23. Thapan K., Arendt J., Skene D. J. An action spectrum for melatonin suppression: evidence for a novel non-rod, non-cone photoreceptor system in humans. J. Physiol. 2001; 535: 261-267.

24. Lockley S. W., Brainard G. C., Czeisler C. A. High sensitivity of the human circadian melatonin rhythm to resetting by short wavelength light. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003; 88: 4502-4505.

25. Glickman G., Byrne B., Pineda C., Hauck W. W., Brainard G. C. Light therapy for seasonal affective disorder with blue narrow-band light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Biol. Psychiatry. 2006; 59: 502-507.

26. Mendola J. D., Rizzo J. F. 3rd, Cosgrove G. R., Cole A. J., Black P., Corkin S. Visual discrimination after anterior temporal lobectomy in humans. Neurology. 1999; Mar 23; 52 (5): 1028-37.

27. Allison T., Begleiter A., Mc Carthy G., Roessler E., Nobre A. C., Spencer D. D. Electrophysiological studies of color processing in human visual cortex. Electroencephalogr. Clin. Neurophysiology. 1993 Sep-Oct; 88 (5): 343-55.

28. Neckar M., Bob P. Synesthetic associations and psychosensory symptoms of temporal epilepsy. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2016; Jan 11; 12:109.

29. Fornazzari L., Fischer C. E., Ringer L., Schweizer T. A. Blue is music to my ears: multimodal synesthesias after a thalamic stroke. Neurocase. 2012; 18 (4): 318-22.


For citations:

Oleynikova O.M., Sarapulova A.A., Avakyan G.N. Additional options for non-pharmacological treatment of epilepsy. Epilepsy and paroxysmal conditions. 2019;11(1):8-20. (In Russ.)

Views: 1178

ISSN 2077-8333 (Print)
ISSN 2311-4088 (Online)