In July 2018 researchers from Norway published the results of their study to assess the association between alcohol use and seizures in 134 individuals who had been hospitalized following seizures. 92 of the individuals were known epileptics and 42 had suffered a single seizure. Alcohol use was assessed by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and by the number of alcohol units consumed during the 6 days prior to the seizure. Sleep time was recorded during the previous 3 days and nights. Results showed that 28% of individuals had AUDIT scores of 8 and above (hazardous drinking). Non-focal seizures were increased in those individuals who had suffered single seizures, which suggested the seizure had been caused by alcohol withdrawal. It was noted that a high percentage of the binge drinkers had epilepsy. Social drinking, ie not binge drinking, also appeared to be associated with seizures in those who had idiopathic generalized epilepsy. It was seen that seizures peaked on Sundays and Mondays. Alcohol intake prior to a seizure was also frequently accompanied by other triggers, such as sleep loss.
Samsonsen C et al. The seizure precipitating effect of alcohol: A prospective observational cross-over study. Epilepsy Res. 2018 Jul;143:82-89