US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts suffered what is being described as a "a benign idiopathic seizure." It is not known whether Roberts will require anti-seizure medication or exactly what this condition means at this time. But some are speculating that it may be some for of epilepsy.
"It's my understanding he's fully recovered, said Christopher Burke, a spokesman for Penobscot Bay Medical Center, where Roberts was taken.
Roberts, 52, was taken by ambulance to the medical center, where he underwent a "thorough neurological evaluation, which revealed no cause for concern," Arberg said in a statement.
Roberts had a similar episode in 1993, she said.
Doctors called Monday's incident "a benign idiopathic seizure," Arberg said. The White House described the January 1993 episode as an "isolated, idiosyncratic seizure."
A benign seizure means that doctors performed an MRI and other tests to conclude there was no tumor, stroke or other explanation.
In addition, doctors would have quickly ruled out simple explanations such as dehydration or low blood sugar.
By definition, someone who has had more than one seizure without any other cause is determined to have epilepsy, said Dr. Marc Schlosberg, a neurologist at Washington Hospital Center, who is not involved in the Roberts' case.
Whether Roberts will need anti-seizure medications to prevent another is something he and his doctor will have to decide.
But after two seizures, the likelihood of another at some point is greater than 60 percent.
"When it's going to occur, obviously nobody knows," Schlosberg said.
I do not know whether the expert quoted above is correct in the definition of epilepsy or not. The Epilepsy Foundation defines it as:
Epilepsy is a generic term used to define a family of seizure disorders. A person with recurring seizures is said to have epilepsy.
Does two episodes some 14 years apart automatically qualify? Maybe someone with more knowledge on the subject could clarify.