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It’s a terrible disorder to have to live with, but many people suffering from epilepsy do manage to find ways to adjust and live a relatively normal lifestyle. While many people associate rapidly moving visuals with triggers for seizures, it’s not the only way that these symptoms can occur.
Anyone can develop epilepsy during their lifetime and there are many different ways it can begin. For some people, it appears that music and other sounds can cause them to start seizing, and it can even be particular to a certain genre, or particular song.
Musicogenic epilepsy is a very rare form of the disorder, and while its triggers were previously thought to be coincidental, now healthcare professionals have reason to believe all sorts of related musical sensations can have a particular effect on those with the condition.
While testing is more successful now, these people had to find out their diagnosis in very strange ways!
You would think that these individuals would have a history of wanting to avoid music, but it’s actually the opposite.
For Zoe Fennessy, it was on New Years Eve in 2006 that she experienced her first seizure. Over the next few years she developed worse symptoms and eventually realized the cause was R&B singer Ne-Yo.
“Whenever I hear the first few beats of the song I have to drop whatever I am doing and run. People might think it is funny — and I can laugh at it myself — but it has taken over my life. It’s ruined my life.”
Stacey Gayle understands her pain. She collected CDs, went to concerts, used to sing choir at her church, but that all changed one day.
It wasn’t until she had several seizures at her friends barbecue parties that she noticed Sean Paul’s ‘Temperature’ was playing every single time. It then spread to other artists like Britney Spears and Rihanna, and she began having them everywhere she went where the music was playing.
She has since undergone several operations to remove small portions of her brain, and is now seizure free! But she still notices the music.
“Trust me,” she says, “music is everywhere—I never realized that until I started getting seizures.”