Do pets reduce the likelihood of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy?
Terra, Vera Cristina
Sakamoto, Américo Ceiki [UNIFESP]
Machado, Helio Rubens
Martins, Luciana Duarte
Cavalheiro, Esper Abrão [UNIFESP]
Arida, Ricardo Mario [UNIFESP]
Scorza, Fulvio Alexandre [UNIFESP]
Is part ofSeizure-european Journal of Epilepsy
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Purpose: To assess the relationship between the presence of pets in homes of epilepsy patients and the occurrence of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).Methods: Parents or relatives of SUDEP patients collected over a ten-year period (2000-2009) in a large epilepsy unit were asked if the patient lived together with any domestic pet at the time of death or not. Patients who did not experience SUDEP served as controls.Results and conclusions: Eleven out of the 1092 included patients (1%) experienced SUDEP, all with refractory symptomatic epilepsy, but none of them had pets in their homes at the time of death. in contrast, the frequency of pet-ownership in the control group (n = 1081) was 61%. According to previous studies there are some indications that human health is directly related to companionship with animals in a way that domestic animals prevent illness and facilitate recovery of patients. Companion animals can buffer reactivity against acute stress, diminish stress perception and improve physical health. These factors may reduce cardiac arrhythmias and seizure frequency, factors related to SUDEP. Companion animals may have a positive effect on well-being, thus irnproving epilepsy outcome. (c) 2012 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
CitationSeizure-european Journal of Epilepsy. London: W B Saunders Co Ltd, v. 21, n. 8, p. 649-651, 2012.
SponsorshipFundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP)
Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)
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