A 6-year-old boy from a province in the Philippines has developed persistent facial seizures reportedly due to his excessive playing of video games.
John Nathan Lising, who plays computer games for about nine hours a day, suddenly began suffering uncontrollable facial tics which caused his eyes to blink and lips to shake nonstop on July 23.
Doctors at the College of the Immaculate Conception in Cabanatuan City would later find that his brain appears to be healthy after reviewing the boy’s CT scan results.
While there was no conclusive evidence that the boy developed the condition from his video game addiction, the doctors advised the parents to keep him off his smartphone and tablet.
Doctors said that the symptoms seemed similar to “Focal Seizure,” a type of condition that affects only one half of the brain. However, they explained that they were unable to diagnose the boy’s actual condition due to a lack of enough evidence to determine its cause.
Edgar is convinced that his son’s addiction to video games caused the sudden seizures.
“My son has always been healthy. He has never had any problems before,” said the musician father. “They started on July 23 and 24 and would not stop. I am sure that excessive use of gadgets is responsible.”
Over a week later, John continued to suffer facial seizures every 20 or 30 minutes even after he stopped playing video games.
The parents then took the boy to another hospital, the St. Luke’s Medical Center, to get a second medical opinion.
After the doctors performed an electroencephalogram (EEG) scan on him, the results came back negative for any irregularities with his brain activity.
“My son is really suffering and we don’t know what we can do now,” said Judee, a beauty salon owner. “He would watch cartoons on TV as soon as he woke up. Then from 3 p.m. when he came home from school until midnight he would play games on his smartphone or tablet. The games were just children’s games, fun and colorful but not violent. He was addicted.”
“The doctors said that the condition could be caused by gadgets but there is no certain evidence,” she lamented. “As a mother, I am sure this is the cause and we have stopped him from using any of his electronic toys.”