Editorial

Enjoy the movies, but be forewarned if you have epilepsy

Monday, June 18, 2018

The movie the Incredibles was a favorite for many, and many of us are looking forward to the sequel, Incredibles 2, now, 14 years later.

Hollywood loves it when a movie generates ďbuzz,Ē but Disney wasnít really looking for this type of publicity.

It turns out, a sequence involving bright flashing lights associated with the villain Screenslaver can trigger seizures in people with epilepsy, migraines or chronic illnesses.

The Epilepsy Foundation even issued a statement about concerns that people with epilepsy could suffer a seizure during the movie. "(We) appreciate the efforts some theaters have already made to post warning signs for people waiting to see the movie," the statement said.

On Friday, Walt Disney Pictures sent an advisory to theaters showing Incredibles 2, asking them flag customers to the scene.

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, flashing lights at certain intensities can trigger seizures in about 3 percent of people with epilepsy.

Itís known as photosensitive epilepsy, and itís more common in children and adolescents, especially those with a type known as juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.

Disney isnít alone in concerns about triggering seizures; a Japanese cartoon was said to have had the same problem, as have certain video games and the voice of TV personality Mary Hart was famously linked to a patientís seizures, referenced in a Seinfeld episode.

Seizures are nothing to joke about, of course, and itís good movie-goers who may be vulnerable to the disorder have fair warning before being endangered unnecessarily.

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