On the occasion of World Epilepsy Day, here is an interesting piece of medical information.
The flashing strobe lights, the zig-zagging bands of illumination on the dance floor - they definitely add to the 'high' in a discotheque, but can they induce epileptic attacks? Years of research across the world has proved that lights flickering at a frequency of more than 15 Hertz do trigger epileptic fits in photosensitive individuals.
Common among children and teenagers, this form of reflex epilepsy prevails in around 4% of the population. When colour-coded light flickering at a particular frequency hits the occipital lobe of the brain, photo-sensitive people start getting seizures, develop a blackout and fall unconscious.
"A discotheque is an apt place for such people to get fits,'' said a well known professor of neurology, who has worked extensively on epilepsy. He said the attacks were triggered by the blinking strobe lights and the vertical and horizontal bands of light; the flicker fast, compounded by the high pitch of the music. Besides the disco lights, photo-sensitive people are also prone to 'television-induced epilepsy' and 'computer-induced epilepsy'. "It happens when the TV or computer screen starts flickering. Photo-sensitive people get fits and collapse all of a sudden,'' said another noted neurologist.
So the next time you want to shake that booty, be careful.