26-year-old Zoe Fennessy has a medical condition that has ruined her life. She’s been diagnosed with musicogenic seizures. Every time she hears a song from Ne-Yo she has an epileptic seizure. With any other artist or type of music she’s fine.
Zoe first connected the seizures to Ne-Yo’s music in 2011, when she would hear the song “Give Me Everything.”
“It took me a while to realize that they were being triggered by his songs, and I think it wasn’t until I had heard it for about the 15th time that it finally twigged what was going on,” Zoe told SWNS. “The song was really popular and I went to my consultant and I said ‘I know this sounds extremely bizarre, but every time I hear this song I have a seizure.'”
The mother of one from Retford, England was eventually diagnosed and in June 2014, doctors performed a six-hour surgery to remove part of her left temporal lobe where they thought the seizures originated from. Unfortunately, that didn’t solve the problem.
Her symptoms of epilepsy have been reduced, but the 15-second seizures brought on by Ne-Yo’s music continue.
“If he ever releases a greatest hits album it’s going to be a nightmare,” she says. “Whenever I hear the first few beats of the song I have to drop whatever I am doing and run. People might think it is funny – and I can laugh at it myself – but it has taken over my life. It’s ruined my life.”
Eighty-seven reports of patients with seizures induced by listening and/or playing music and one personal observation are reviewed. Music-induced (or musicogenic) seizures are currently classified among the reflex seizures precipitated by complex stimuli. According to the available information, they are defined as focal seizures due to a discharge involving lateral and mesial temporal and orbitofrontal areas. The specific musical component responsible for seizure precipitation is still undetermined. An important role is attributed to the emotional aspect of music. The existence of this rare disorder should be borne in mind by neurologists, who should also be aware of the existing musical test batteries that may help in understanding better the nature of triggering mechanisms responsible for this unique pathological condition. The implementations of the results of ongoing investigations on brain processing of musical information will advance our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the transition from interictal to ictal phases of epilepsy.
Ne-Yo’s Music Causes Woman To Have Seizures. Brain Surgery To Stop Them Proves Unsuccessful (Video)