As reported by the Guardian Express, Chris Brown recently suffered a seizure, during the early hours of Friday morning. But, if one of Chris’ representatives is to be believed, the incident was linked to stress. Could this be a not-so-subtle jab at the media, who seems to be taking the flack for the musician’s recent medical plight? Pushing that unconnected question to one side, however, did Brown really have a seizure?
The Los Angeles Fire Department stoically blared over to the music studio, where Chris Brown was situated, after receiving an emergency 911 call. Upon their arrival, Chris refused medical intervention or hospitalization.
According to Billboard, a bombshell of a revelation was then dropped by one of Chris Brown’s representatives, suggesting that a spate of legal wrangling and constant negativity, surrounding the pop star, was the trigger:
“His [Chris’] doctor tended to him this afternoon and attributes the NES to intense fatigue and extreme emotional stress, both due to the continued onslaught of unfounded legal matters and the nonstop negativity.”
Let’s now focus on the science. NES is an abbreviation of non-epileptic seizure, with many of the outward symptoms resembling those perceived during epileptic events. Symptoms can range in severity and nature, the onset of which can be both sudden or gradual. Typical presentation of NES includes the following:
- Loss of awareness and responsiveness
- Uncoordinated, repetitive movements
- Urinary incontinence (usually seen during epileptic episodes)
- Violent thrashing
Typically, a barrage of clinical tests are conducted to properly diagnose NES, including electroencephalograms, magnetic resonance image (MRI) scans, alongside biochemical testing and psychiatric assessment. Chris Brown refused any medical treatment, whatsoever. So, without these tests, how can we conclude that Brown really did have a seizure?
It is plausible that Chris rejected assistance because he was already familiar with the cause. It is alleged that Chris had previously encountered seizures when he was a kid; the inference being, Chris has not experienced any recent or, perhaps, significant seizures since. And, without proper medical examination or testing, we never can be quite sure as to whether the diagnosis was 100% accurate.
Indeed, healthcare experts will, no doubt, be asking some searching questions as to why Mr. Brown has resumed his past experience of NES episodes. The prior posit, that the star’s apparent NES flair was caused by extreme stress, is entirely plausible, but certainly not the only one.
If the star’s diagnosis of NES was correct, tests should have been conducted. NES can be described as organic or psychogenic in nature. Organic seizures stem from physical causes where, for example, the underlying cause of fainting, seen during an episode, is the result of diabetes. Comparatively, psychogenic NES (as described by Chris’ crew) is caused by stress, as well as a range of psychiatric disorders.
So, armed with the afore-described medical knowledge, if Chris Brown had experienced NES due to a physical ailment, it would be prudent to perform routine tests to establish why. Likewise, if Brown had experienced psychogenic-based NES, tests should have been carried out to determine the exact reason; was it simply stress, or could it have been an indication of a more sinister, psychiatric issue?
And, what if the presumptive diagnosis of NES wasn’t even correct to begin with? When investigating the differential diagnosis of NES, the following are factored into consideration:
- Epileptic seizures
- Cardiac problems
- Hormonal and metabolic disorders (e.g. hypoglycemia, drugs, alcohol)
- Vestibular (part of the ear, responsible for balance) disorders
- Sleep disorders (e.g. REM sleep disorders)
- Other psychiatric issues (e.g. anxiety disorder, depressive fugues)
This rather broad list includes many of the possible conditions, which could be confused for NES. Essentially, the diagnosis of NES is difficult, and prone to error.
This ambiguity is worsened by a recent statement, released by an inside source, which was disclosed by HollywoodLife.com:
“He is stressed and didn’t have a good week… he was in the studio for a lot of hours with like no sleep at all and a lot on his mind and whatnot. He just overdid it.”
So, was the issue caused by stress, sleep deprivation, or something entirely different?
Retuning back to the question, at hand, did Chris Brown really have a seizure? Frankly, without comprehensive testing, Brown will never truly know whether his latest medical dilemma was truly the clinical manifestations of a seizure or (even if it was a seizure) what the eliciting factor was. Maybe we will never know, for certain.
By: James Fenner