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Former Sufferer of Rare Disease Called Musicogenic Epilepsy Thanks LIJ Medical Team That Ended Her Seizures and Gave Her Back the Gift of Music

Only Five Such Cases Known Worldwide

NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y., Jan. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thanks to innovative medical and surgical techniques of physicians at LIJ Medical Center, 25-year-old Stacey Gayle can now look forward to singing in her church choir and listening to the radio. At a news conference today, Ms. Gayle and her doctors discussed a rare condition known as musicogenic epilepsy that not only robbed her of her health, but of the very important gift of music.

Ms. Gayle's seizures began four years ago at age 21; she awoke one morning in a hospital, unable to remember how she got there. Her mother had called an ambulance when her daughter had two grand mal seizures in her sleep. Doctors told her that she had epilepsy, and started her on a regimen of medications to help prevent seizures. Even with the drugs, Ms. Gayle's seizures grew worse--sometimes up to 10 a day. One afternoon in 2006, while attending a barbeque, she was listening to the song "Temperature" by Sean Paul, a Jamaican reggae and rap artist. The next thing Ms. Gayle knew, she was seizing. She sought help at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at LIJ Medical Center, part of the Harvey Cushing Institutes of Neuroscience. There, it was determined that Ms. Gayle is one of about five people worldwide known to suffer from musicogenic epilepsy -- seizures triggered by music.

In February 2007, she was admitted to LIJ for a video electroencephalography (EEG), which measures electrical activity produced by the brain using electrodes placed on the scalp. On the night of her EEG, Ms. Gayle had her iPod programmed to repeat "Temperature." As she was being monitored, she sustained three seizures -- all captured on video.

Ashesh Mehta, MD, the director of epilepsy surgery at the LIJ Epilepsy Center, was convinced that Mr. Gayle's epilepsy could be treated with surgery. Using the latest technology involving positron emission tomography (PET) scans, the implantation of electrodes into the brain and imaging guidance to pinpoint the areas of brain abnormality, Dr. Mehta performed two surgeries on Ms. Gayle, the latest in October 2007. Now, 3 1/2 months later, she is seizure-free -- the longest period she has been healthy since this musical nightmare began four years ago.

To hear more about Ms. Gayle's story, go to:

SOURCE North Shore-LIJ Health System
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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