Dr. Krag answers your questions on epilepsy.
Q: Can people with epilepsy practice the Transcendental Meditation technique? Won't the increased brain wave synchrony cause them to have seizures?
Dr. Krag: Certainly people with a seizure disorder can practice the Transcendental Meditation technique. Often the seizure threshold is lowered when the person is anxious or tired. Since the Transcendental Meditation program reduces stress and produces more neurological stability, the practice of the TM technique should be helpful. And a person with seizure disorder could, of course, enjoy all of the other benefits of the Transcendental Meditation technique, such as better cardiovascular health, reduced stress, improved interpersonal relationships and a calmer, more focused mind.
Q: Will practice of Transcendental Meditation reduce the need for anticonvulsant drugs?
Dr. Krag: It would be unwise to begin the Transcendental Meditation program expecting that a reduction of medication will follow. However, if there was a decrease in seizures over time, then your neurologist would likely be willing to make small and gradual reductions in medication to assess its need.
Our medical expert
James Krag, M.D. is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, president of the Psychiatric Society of Virginia, and former president of the Virginia Association of Community Psychiatrists for four years. He is currently Medical Director of Liberty Point, a residential treatment program for adolescents with psychiatric problems.