Department of Neurology

Seizures and air pressure

Q: I am seeking information to see if altitude has any effect on people with epilepsy. My family lives in Denver, CO and wonder if a possible move might help our daughter.

A: Sudden increases in air pressure are known to cause seizures in some persons. This is termed "hyperbaric seizures." It is seen most commonly in persons receiving hyperbaric oxygen treatment, for example, divers with the "bends," and other persons in hypebaric oxygen chambers.

I am not aware of information that slow changes in air pressure, caused by moving to or living in a place like Denver, would cause seizures.

Return to Question Page