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Is there a drug to overcome the fear of darkness?

Q: My son has Deuchenne's muscular dystrophy with Rolandic seizures. He is now on Valparin Chrono for seizures which are reasonably well controlled. He gets paranoid about darkness, being left alone even for small periods, and is very afraid of thunder squalls. What drug could be of help in this case without adversely affecting his major problem of DMD with seizures?

A:The onset of Rolandic seizures is usually after three years of age and is outgrown by adolescence so I assume that your son belongs to this age group. I would not suggest medication for fear of darkness, fear of being left alone, and fear of thunder squalls (which are usually accompanied by lightning flashes) as this is common in children at that age. However in his case the fear of darkness and lightning may be extreme due to its association with his seizures. Your son may usually get these seizures at night as in a lot of cases Benign Rolandic Seizures occur at night before sleeping and therefore he may associate it with darkness and may in turn develop a fear of it. Flashing lights or in your sons case lightning are also environmental triggers of seizures and he may have developed his fear from this association. I suggest that you should try some methods of reducing his associations like letting him sleep with the side lamp on for some time and trying to be with him during a thunderstorm but in case the problem persists you should consult a child psychologist who can help him break this conditioning. I also suggest that you remain in constant touch with a Neurologist for this problem.

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