In many parts of the country—and for people of all ages—a turn of the calendar to the winter months means more time spent indoors. For patients with asthma, however, an evening spent in front of a crackling fire may simply serve as a trigger for an attack.
Contributing to the problem is the relative unreliability of EEG tracings recorded from patients during the interictal period. Although these tracings can reveal certain abnormalities that are characteristic of epilepsy, such as spikes, they tend to be relatively nonspecific. Interictal spikes, for instance, occur inconsistently; they are present in some persons who do not have epilepsy and absent in others who do.
Thus, a young woman describes her ex-boyfriend who had Tourette syndrome (TS), the impact of which caused their breakup. TS affects approximately 1 in 100 Americans and is marked by a fluctuating course of multiple motor and phonic tics, which can have devastating social, physical, and psychological consequences for the patient.
When it comes to disease risk, not all of us are created equal. Genetics, culture, diet, education, occupation, income, environment, or a combination of these factors can predispose some persons and ethnic groups to certain illnesses.