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Girl Has Seizure After 5 Hours Of Video Gaming

Doctor Says Long-Term Video Game Playing Is Likely Cause

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A central Iowa mother woke up over the weekend to find her daughter having a seizure.

After a trip to the emergency room, a family learned that the cause was most likely from playing video games too long, Des Moines television station KCCI reported.

Doctors said such incidents are not common, but they do happen. Certain people are prone to it because of the way their brains work. Once was enough for 14-year-old Amy Kopaska.

She loves to play video games, the station reported. She spent five hours straight playing a video game over the weekend. Her marathon session led to a frightening situation.

"This has never happened before. Boy, it scared the life out of me," said Janell Hansen, Kopaska's mother.

Hansen woke up early Sunday and heard an awful noise from her daughter's room. She found her daughter thrashing on her bed.

"I rolled her over. Her eyes were dilated. She was foaming at the mouth, gasping for air. Just breathing very hard," Hansen said.

Hansen said that at one point it appeared her daughter had quit breathing all together.

"Then it was quiet. She didn't move. I thought I was watching her die. It scared me terribly," Hansen said.

Hansen gave Kopaska a couple of big breaths as she waited for the paramedics. At the hospital, after several tests and questions, the conclusion was that the long-term use of the video game induced the seizure.

"The pattern of the lights sets up an abnormal reaction in the brain, and that causes the seizure to happen," said Dr. Joel Waymire, a pediatrician.

Kopaska doesn't remember anything about the seizure.

"My mind is a blank, like dreaming without the dream," she said.

Kopaska was playing the game called "True Crime: New York City." There's a car driving through snow and the snowflakes act as a strobe light.

Kopaska's brother played, too, but he took a break when it was her turn. She stayed and watched him play.

Kopaska now only plays one to two hours at a time and then takes a break.

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