Cameron Boyce Passes Away Due to a Seizure – Become More Informed About Seizures
On July 6th, 2019, Disney Channel star Cameron Boyce, best known for his roles in the TV Series Jessie, the Descendants film series and the Grown Ups film series, passed away at the age of 20 from a seizure in his sleep due to a medical condition for which he was receiving treatment for. Last night, Cameron Boyce’s family revealed that the medical condition that he had was epilepsy.
We at the BC Epilepsy Society send our thoughts to Cameron Boyce’s family, friends and fans who are all coping with this immense loss. As we all take the time to mourn his passing, it is an important time to get more informed about seizures and epilepsy.
What is a Seizure?
- A seizure is a sudden, brief and temporary disturbance of electrical activity in the brain
- Neurons in the brain transmit electrical signals, which is how they communicate with each other, process information and send messages to other parts of the body
- An interruption in these electrical signals can lead to a seizure
- There are over 20 different types of seizures that can alter consciousness, movement, sensation and behaviour
What Does a Seizure Look Like?
- Symptoms during a seizure depend on where in the brain the abnormal electrical activity occurs and how much of the brain is being affected
- Seizures can happen in one specific area of the brain (focal seizures) or they can happen all over the brain (generalized seizures)
- Signs of a seizure may include, but are not limited to:
- A staring spell
- Uncontrollable jerking of the arms and legs
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of awareness
- Temporary confusion
- Altered sensations
- Cognitive symptoms such as déjà vu
What is Epilepsy?
- Epilepsy is a medical condition that causes recurring seizures
- Epilepsy can affect any individual of any age, race, religion, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation or geographic location
- There are over 40,000 people in British Columbia, over 300,000 people in Canada, over 3.4 million people in the United States and over 65 million people worldwide living with epilepsy
- According to the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), someone is considered to have epilepsy when they have at least two unprovoked seizures occurring more than 24 hours apart; or one unprovoked seizure and an increased probability (greater than 60%) of future unprovoked seizures
- An unprovoked seizure is a seizure not caused by precipitating factors such as low blood sugar levels, an irregular heartbeat, a lack of oxygen, the use of alcohol, drugs or toxic substances, etc.
How Can I Help?
- To help people who have seizures, here are some easy things you can do:
- Learn seizure first aid so you know what to do if you see someone having a seizure
- Learn how to stay safe if you or someone in your life has epilepsy
- Get more informed about Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP)
- Find out more about SUDEP here
- SUDEP affects 1-2 of every 1000 people with epilepsy every year, with victims of SUDEP often being found in bed with evidence of a recent seizure
All of us at the BC Epilepsy Society, along with his family, friends and fans, are mourning the untimely death of such a bright young star. Rest in Peace Cameron Boyce.