Is cold the new hot in sudden unexpected death in epilepsy? Effect of low temperature on heart rate of rats with epilepsy

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Sonoda EYF, Colugnati DB, Scorza CA, Arida RM, Pansani AP, de Almeida ACG, Cavalheiro EA, and Scorza FA (2008) Is cold the new hot in sudden unexpected death in epilepsy? Effect of low temperature on heart rate of rats with epilepsy. Arq Neuropsiquiatr 66:4 848–52.

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Abstract: Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the commonest cause of seizure-related mortality in people with refractory epilepsy. Several risk factors for SUDEP are described; however, the importance of including low temperatures as risk factor for SUDEP was never explored. Based on this, the aim of this study was to evaluate the heart rate of rats with epilepsy during low temperature exposure. Our results showed that low temperature clearly increased the heart rate of rats with epilepsy. Taken together, we concluded that exposure to low temperatures could be considered important risk factors from cardiovascular abnormalities and hence sudden cardiac death in epilepsy.

Keywords: epilepsy, seizure, SUDEP, low temperatures, heart

Context

  • Rationale: Cold temperatures lead to increased heart rate in rats. Therefore cold temperatures could increase the risk of death in patients with cardiovascular abnormalities. Therefore cold could elevate the risk of sudden cardiac death in epilepsy. However, see Bell et al. See also annotation at Scorza et al.

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