Any research that could potentially touch the SUDC community is of the utmost importance. Our losses don't exist in a vacuum. There is quality research being conducted in areas that may assist SUDC targeted research in the future. At the SUDC Coalition we feel it is important to share these findings when they become available.
BREATHING INHIBITED WHEN SEIZURES SPREAD TO THE AMYGDALA AND UPON AMYGDALA STIMULATION.
Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the most common cause of death in patients with chronic refractory epilepsy. Impaired breathing during and after seizures is common and suspected to play a role in SUDEP. Understanding the cause of this peri-ictal hypoventilation may lead to preventative strategies. In epilepsy patients, we found that seizure invasion of the amygdala co-occurred with apnea and oxygen desaturation, and electrical stimulation of the amygdala reproduced these respiratory findings. Strikingly, the subjects were unaware of the apnea. These findings indicate a functional connection between the amygdala and brainstem respiratory network in humans and suggest that amygdala seizures may cause loss of spontaneous breathing of which patients are unaware-a combination that could be deadly.