Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Epilepsy Health Center

Font Size

Pokemon Seizures Linked to Epilepsy, Not TV

Children Who Had Seizures After Watching Cartoon Had Underlying Disease

WebMD Health News

July 21, 2004 -- New research suggests that the children in Japan who suffered epileptic seizures after watching a popular Japanese TV cartoon in 1997 would have probably developed seizures regardless of whether they watched the program or not.

In an incident that drew worldwide attention in December 1997, many children and some adults in Japan who were watching the popular television cartoon Pokemon ("Pocket Monster") had epileptic seizures.

But a new report suggests that most children who suffered from recurrent seizures after watching these cartoons already had a history of epilepsy or an underlying condition that put them at risk for having seizures.

Seizures Linked to Disease, Not Cartoons

In a letter published in the July 22 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers report on a five-year follow-up of 91 children who suffered seizures associated with Pokemon.

The children were divided into two groups: 24 who had a history of epilepsy and 67 with no history of the disease.

Of the 91 children who suffered seizures associated with watching the cartoon, 25 had repeat seizures, including 13 of the no-epilepsy group and 12 of the epilepsy group.

Among those with no history of epilepsy, researchers found most recurrences were in patients with a history of seizures associated with fevers before age 12.

The study also showed that among children with epilepsy, those who had seizures within the previous year or those who had a form of epilepsy triggered by flashing lights or flickering patterns were more like to suffer repeat seizures after the "Pocket Monster" event.

Today on WebMD

human head and brain waves
Causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Grand mal seizure
How is each one different?
marijuana plant
CBD, a plant chemical, may cut down seizures.
prescription bottle
Which medication is right for you?
Seizures Driving
Questions for Doctor Epilepsy
Graces Magic Diet
Pills spilling from bottle in front of clock
first aid kit
Caring Child Epilepsy
Making Home Safe
epilepsy monitoring