Now that Secretary of Commerce John Bryson has taken medical leave after a seizure apparently caused him to hit two cars, medical experts are scratching their heads about how a seizure could have caused the chain of events that led to the accidents, Bryson's hospitalization and his eventual leave of absence.
"There are several different types of seizures," Dr. Robert Fisher, professor of neurology and the director of the Stanford Epilepsy Center in California, said. "The one called complex partial allows a person to operate in a dream-like state over a period of seconds to minutes. She or he could operate a car, but judgment, reflexes and thinking would be impaired for several minutes.
"If [the accident] was due to a seizure, it is possible either for it to have been a cluster of a few seizures, or one seizure with a long aftermath of confusion, called 'postictal.'"
Bryson was found unconscious at his car steering wheel Saturday and cited by police for leaving the scene of an accident after he rear-ended a Buick that had stopped and was waiting for a train to pass.
After the initial accident, Bryson got out of his car, spoke to the three males in the Buick, "then left the scene, hitting the same car as he left the scene," according to police. Five minutes later Bryson allegedly hit a second vehicle containing a man and woman. He was not charged and passed a blood-alcohol test Saturday night.
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