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Acid reflux could cause death during epileptic seizures, study finds

Pedro Irazoqui | Via Purdue University | January 9, 2019

Pedro Irazoqui had just enjoyed a huge lobster dinner. Then he woke up that night finding he couldn’t breathe. Terrified, Irazoqui sat up and tried to relax. Air suddenly returned to his lungs like nothing had happened. After grabbing his phone and Googling like crazy, Irazoqui, a professor at Purdue University, discovered that what he had experienced was acid reaching his larynx, causing it to contract and cut off air flow. Sitting up pushes the acid back down to the stomach with the help of gravity.

A few years later, this episode inspired a possible explanation of why one in 1,000 adults with epilepsy dies suddenly during a seizure each year: acid reflux.

The study, led by Irazoqui’s team at Purdue, found acid in the esophagus of animal models 100 percent of the time that they experienced sudden death during a seizure… Continue reading.

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