New 'Twilight' Film Triggering Seizures?
Saturday, 03 December 2011

Shaking, sweating and swooning are par for the course among the passionate young fans of the "Twilight" series. But reports that a scene in "Breaking Dawn" has been sparking seizures in theaters nationwide has epilepsy experts on the alert and parents thinking twice about letting their kids see the movie.

Officials at the Maryland-based Epilepsy Foundation issued a warning this week to their nearly 11,000 followers on Facebook, saying people prone to certain types of seizures might want to skip the film, which has been the top-grossing movie in the country for two weeks straight.

"If you were parents of a child with epilepsy, you would not send your child to the movie," says Mimi Carter, the foundation's director of communications. "Why would you risk it?"

There have been at least nine reported instances of people suffering seizures during "Breaking Dawn," the latest installment in the teen vampire series. The trigger seems to be a particularly intense birth scene that involves a strobe effect with flashes of red, white and black light.

In one widely reported instance, a California man at the theater with his girlfriend began to convulse during the graphic scene.

According to CBS Sacramento, paramedics rushed Brandon Gephart to the emergency room after he was "convulsing, snorting, trying to breathe." Gephart remembered nothing of the attack, but his girlfriend, Kelly Bauman, told reporters, "He scared me big time."

In another instance, a woman who took her daughters to see the movie in Oregon starting feeling "strange" during the birth scene.

I "[s]tarted feeling sick to my stomach, like I was going to be sick," Tina Goss told television station KATU in Portland. "Really hot, really sweaty, like on the verge of vomiting."

Goss told reporters she wasn't coherent again until arriving at a hospital. "My hands were completely blue for like two to three hours," she said. "The next day, I was so lethargic I felt like I'd, you know, like ran eight marathons."

No instances have been reported in Maryland. But others have occurred in Maine, Utah, Massachusetts and Canada.


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