Does the lunar phase have an effect on sudden unexpected death in epilepsy?

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Terra-Bustamante VC, Scorza CA, de Albuquerque M, Sakamoto AC, Machado HR, Arida RM, Cavalheiro EA, and Scorza FA (2009) Does the lunar phase have an effect on sudden unexpected death in epilepsy? Epilepsy Behav 14:2 404–6.

Link to Article

Abstract: The incidence of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) in our epilepsy unit over an 8-year period was analyzed to determine a possible association between phase of the moon and SUDEP. Analysis revealed that the number of SUDEPs was highest in full moon (70%), followed by waxing moon (20%) and new moon (10%). No SUDEPs occurred during the waning cycle. These preliminary findings suggest that the full moon appears to correlate with SUDEP.

Keywords: Epilepsy, Heart, Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, Circadian rhythms

Context

  • Most SUDEP cases occurred during full moon, which is all the more surprising given that only 1 in 28 days is a full moon. See annotation at Scorza et al.

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