From the Epilepsy Foundation we find that a seizure is: “A seizure is a massive disruption of electrical communication between neurons in the brain—.“ You can find this at their web site and this page defines a seizure and a seizure threshold.
As someone that is not trained in biology or medicine it seems that a seizure occurs when the ‘break-over voltage’ exceeds the resistance of the circuit. This is how a semiconductor works as well which starts conduction when the ‘saturation voltage’ is reached. So let’s think about how signals travel down neural pathways. It would seem that they travel through a series of gates that control the ‘saturation’ levels of sodium and potassium along the pathway. The ‘action potential’ varies along the axon causing the sodium gates to open and allow sodium into the axon and then the potassium gate opens and allows potassium to rush out so that through this mechanism the ‘signal’ travels along the axon. When the signal reaches the synapse then neural transmitters are released to carry the signal to the next neuron through its dendrites.
The cell and axon returns to a stable voltage ‘without’ transmitting when the sodium potassium pumps through its action causes the sodium to be forced outside the axon and potassium to be brought into the axon thus reversing the signal or action potential. The cell body is somewhat more complicated but know that calcium gates are somewhat controlled by the concentration of magnesium.
It is interesting that the article immediately goes to neural transmitters like GABA and ACH and how too much of these will cause the cells to be over stimulated and continue to fire. This is somewhat different in how engineers would look at a semiconductor and what causes it to fire. Yes we look at the voltage of the base to control whether the semiconductor is on or off. However, we control what voltage causes the semiconductor to turn on/off by the amount of ‘doping’ or mineral/metal that is placed in the semiconductor during manufacture. The equivalent of this in the body of the cell and the axon is how the gates of the cell are working to allow conductive ions in and out and if there is adequate amounts of these electrolytes available.
Ions that are associated with this conduction are calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. So it would just seem that a proper diet is extremely critical for a stable environment of electrical conduction in the cell. That is you need to eat and absorb enough of these minerals so that proper electrical potentials are maintain.
Before you consider changing your diet and taking supplements be sure that you consult with your physician to get him to approve your changes. If he is resistant please suggest that he read the articles that I am suggesting for you.
Also as vitamin D is extremely important to maintain a healthy endocrine system, proper levels of this vital nutrient should be maintained. The newer understanding is each cell makes its own steroid form of vitamin D from the storage form of vitamin D. The cell does not have to get it through the serum level of the steroid as converted in the kidneys. So does vitamin D affect the threshold levels for seizures? Here is a study that was done in 1974 that says that there is an association: “Anticonvulsant Action” of Vitamin D in Epileptic Patients? A Controlled Pilot Study – 1974 Claus Christiansen, Paul Rødbro, and Ole Sjö
Also Dr. John Cannell talks extensively about seizures that are associated with autism and how that autism may be a result of vitamin D deficiency: “Vitamin D Deficiency’s Role in Autism”
Also Dr. Cannell has located many research articles that can be linked from PubMed through his research page on epilepsy.
ADP/ATP or your energy cycle in the mitochondrial bodies is important as this is where the energy for the sodium/potassium pump comes from. Magnesium/calcium balance in the mitochondria is extremely critical in proper operation of this ‘energy engine’. Some researchers claim that as much as 30 percent of the energy that is processed through these engines is used to maintain this balance. It should also be noted that ADP and ATP are ions and the cation that this reaction works best with is magnesium.
We typically get enough calcium from our diets but whether we properly absorb the calcium is dependent on whether we are replete in vitamin D. Magnesium however is another story. I particularly like Krispin’s page on magnesium on how much is enough. She is a life long nutritionist puts together a very clear way to get to proper magnesium levels. Krispin’s webpage on magnesium.
Vitamin D levels that are replete tend to cause magnesium to be reduced in your body. It typically takes about three months or longer for magnesium levels in the cells to reach a healthy value. There are many research papers that you may access at www.mgwater.com.
Potassium is also not properly understood as you can see that we need a minimum of 4.7 grams per day from this report from the Institute of Medicine from February, 2004. This article also tells you the proper balance of sodium and chloride. “Dietary Reference Intakes: Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate”
Krispin does a great job on how to determine how much potassium we should get in a day based on weight and what foods to get if from. Krispin’s webpage on magnesium.
If you get a chance you may want to read her page on forgiveness: this is great piece of work in how we our bodies relate to our environment and memory.
Iodine properly works for energy balance as well and I would suggest these two articles on iodine:
Donald W. Miller, Jr. MD “Iodine for Health”
This recent article by Dr William Davis of the Heart Scan Blog written for life extension magazine: “Halt on Salt Sparks Iodine Deficiency”
I know this is a lot but taking only neurotransmitter stabilizers without being sure that you have proper minerals for electrical balance is just a road toward bad health. Remember the health of the brain activity is related to neural transmitter balance and electrolyte balance. This is true of the heart as well as a majority of the cells in the heart are neural cells.
Remember that electrolytes are really inexpensive and cannot be prescribed so that is not much of a profit motive to actively treat using proper diet to achieve mineral balance. Yet minerals may be more critical than neurotransmitters. I have always suspected this was the case in depression. Not enough potassium and magnesium to drive the signaling pathways.
EAT YOUR BUCKET OF DIRT! Just kidding – Pandemic Survivor