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Elevated CO2 in your home can trigger seizures

If your child has seizures you may find this information useful.

I recently attended the conference Rethinking Autism in the 21 Century hosted by the New Jersey Autism Center of Excellence.

It was an amazing conference, to say the least, that presented new exciting findings in autism research as well as inspiring ways to support people with autism. You can watch all of the conference recordings.

I was awe-struck by what I learned and felt lucky that I was able to carve out time to attend this conference on very short notice.

A snippet of information that caught my attention, because of its relevance to seizure activity in particular, was about the importance of fresh air.

Elizabeth Horn, the Founder and Executive Director of 2m Foundation, a California-based nonprofit and mother of a girl with autism shared an anecdote that inspired this post. She has CO2 monitors in her house and at some point it occurred to her that the CO2 monitor sounded alarm when her daughter had a seizure and she realized there was a connection. The solution was simple. They opened the windows. The data she collected over the next six months showed that after implementing the simple measure of opening the window when the CO2 monitor sounded an alert, her daughter's seizures decreased by 42%.

You can listen to her telling the story here:

I am aware that many people do not air out their living space. In my experience, since my childhood in Germany, it has been a way of life to open windows for the purpose of allowing an inflow of fresh air. Even during the winter, at temperatures below 40 degrees, windows were opened for at least 5-10 minutes to create an adequate air exchange. The only exceptions in my home in California have been the days of the extreme wildfire fallouts in recent years as well as official Spare the Air days.

For people who have environmental allergies, the idea of opening the window may be difficult to entertain, at least during certain times of the year. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.

People who are often most susceptible to the adverse effects of pollution (e.g., the very young, older adults, and people with cardiovascular or respiratory disease) tend to spend even more time indoors. I would add to this list, many children with special needs. For more detailed information you can read the full article on the EPA website.

If your child has seizures, one thing you can do is to air out your house daily. In addition, you may also want to consider installing a CO2 monitor. You can find them easily at an affordable price on Amazon and elsewhere.

If your child has autism you may want to read on and connect with Elizabeth Horn.

She is the Founder and Executive Director of 2m Foundation, a California-based non-profit featuring COMPASS as one of its major initiatives. Conceived in 2014, Compass now includes over 500 clinicians, scientists, IT experts, investors, and families affected by autism all committed to finding answers by systematically gathering multi-omic data on individuals with ASD.

Elizabeth also co-founded of the Autism Impact Fund, combining high-tech industry funding and start-up process with philanthropy to accelerate progress in all aspects of autism research, development, and support. Her involvement in helping biologically define ASD began with the co-founding of ChARMTracker, a patient portal, which became the foundational product of MedicalMine, Inc. and ChARM Health (which now hosts over 850,000 users/patients who connect to the over 1000 clinicians using ChARM EHR).

With my very best wishes for you and your family's health and happiness,


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