A Potential Cause of Seizures that is Rarely Investigated

A mother presented to my office this week, her 13 year old child who had had temporal lobe seizures since he was in kindergarten.  As you might imagine, he had had quite an extensive neurological workup throughout the years.  Along the way, at his mother’s suggestion one of the neurologists had ordered an amino acid analysis.  At this point, it was discovered that the child had high levels of hydroxylysine but no one seemed to know the significance of this finding.

In functional medicine, we are always looking at metabolic pathways and many times find that an increase in a particular substance in laboratory testing may suggest a blockage, backup or breakdown in a particular pathway.  In this case, an increase in hydroxylysine is related to collagen.  The next step is to find a connection between collagen and seizures.  A little research allowed me to find supporting documentation including an article entitled “Extravascular collagen in the human epileptic brain: a potential substrate for aberrant cell migration in cases of temporal lobe epilepsy” published in 2002 in The Journal of Neurosurgery.

With this in mind, we will precede to prescribe various supplements in order to support collagen metabolism as well as investigate, common inflammatory/connective tissue diseases which may not have previously been evaluated.  I hope this serves to inform patients suffering from seizure disorders of unknown origin, as to another possible cause for their condition which may not have been considered in their work up, and hopefully, the “shoe will fit” for some and lead to a better quality of life.