Community Forum

Mind pulses, head zaps?

Every few months, my husband has something happen where it's like he feels pulses in his head that interupt his concentration. they only last about 2 seconds but can happen every minute or two. This lasts about 5 days before it goes away. He has not had a major seizure for about 7 years, so he is very fortunate, but we're concerned about these "head zaps" and the doctor doesn't really seem to know what to tell him. He just increased his meds. Sometimes it happens when life is stressful and sometimes it just happens, so we don't know if it is really related to stress. Has anyone else ever had this happen?


Hi my name is Dayna Yes, I am sorry to say I also have some weid "zaps". I tried to explain them as a loose electrical line "arcing" all over.I used to call them little explosions. Mine hit the back of my head and sometimes the top of my head. Where are his?

Thanks for the reply. He feels them in his temples and the front of his forehead.

Hello! I also get these zaps on the top and back of my head and they are always followed with a burning sensation. The burning sensation hurts almost as bad as the zap but neither lasts long.

Hi my name is Amy, and it is I hate to say it but I'm glad to see someone else out there having the same unexplained head zappings.Mine are in the front of my head so I feel it in my face and it goes throught the back-feels like I'm touching a hotwire.My grand-mal siezures have been under control with Depakote-and my tremors with Klonopin-that he increased because of the zaps.I think it might be stress related-I mainly get mine when I am under alot of pressure or have had a really stressfull day. What meds is anyone out there taking for this?My direct email is

Hello all-I am new to this web site. It will be nice to read your stories about your experiences, thoughts, feelings, etc. I have tonic clonic epilepsy. I was diagnosed with myoclonic seizures 15 yrs ago. In my teenage yrs, my seizures progressed to tonic clonic. I had been seizure-free for almost 5 yrs, but recently I had a tonic clonic seizure while driving. Fortunatly, nobody was hurt. I am very lucky. However, I cannot drive for 6 mos. I'm sure many of you understand how frustrating that can be. Anyway, regarding the "head zaps"; I have them too. I call them 'shooting pains'. My head often feels 'tender' in those areas after the zap. I often feel like my eyeballs shake too. It sounds strange, but it's nice to know that there are others out there who truly understand.MGross

Batman, Do you know why they hurt so bad? And why does it burn so bad immediately after the zap? I was just hoping that maybe you would know. Thanks, Spiz

i'm so glad that you posted this message. i'm in the process of getting diagnosed and this is one of my major problems. i'm just glad to know that i'm not the only one. i thought i was going crazy :}

i thought i was nuts too..i get them in my temples, usually followed by a headache or a staring spell. there is no pattern to these "taps" though...sometimes a few times a week, sometimes i'll go a few weeks with none

mine travel up and down my head and when it stops it burns so bad. when i try to explain it to my husband, he tells me to take an aspirin for my "headache". ugh, if i could only get him to understand what it feels like. i find out MOnday what the results of all my tests are going to be. i'll be glad to finally know what's going on.

Hi all < I also get I don't know if they are "zap's" But alot of pressure in the front of my head & right at the lower back of my head and then a sharp pain in my temples and I can't even think at the time . I am only on 400 mg of Tegratol /day.But i'm also feeling realling mad & really depressed all the time . Guess i'll tell the head doc on the 24th . Till then I dunno . Hope to hear something back ! Annepooh

Hi out there. Just got a call today from doc regarding EEG results and "head zaps". MRI scheduled for Friday. Does anyone know how likely it is that I have a brain tumor causing this (as opposed to good old epilepsy...) Very worried here, doc not much help on phone today. had symptoms for 2 years, much worse in last 60 days. What do you all know? Jolie

Jolie,The MRI will say for sure, but my bet woudl be epilespsy, not a tumor. Too many of us get these, and all of then I know of are from "short circuits."

I have never had a seizure in my life that I know of but' I like your husband get the temple and forhead pulses that can even make my eyeballs shake sometimes. Mine are usually followed shortly by horrific and debilitating migraines that last for days on end and make me want to remove my head from the rest of me. I'm sure this doesn't help at all, but I've never had a doctor acknowledge these pulses as actually being associated with migraines and they tend to just pat me on the head and blow me off. In other words I am sad to know I'm not the only one who gets them, but happy to know I'm not insane!

I had Migraines since I was a child. I have had the classic pain over the left eye then the kleidascope aura before the tunnel vision and then a full on drop you to your knees, crying in the dark, trying not to vomit migraine. My saving medicine was imitrex which I didn't find until I was in my 30's. Unfortunately I have high blood pressure which ended my scrip for imitrex.These zaps and pains are nothing like the pains I had with my migraines. I tried to explain them to my Prev Neuro...He thought I was being a big baby...increased my antidepressant.My New Neuro...He is listening to what I say. All I can say I I told mine exactly what they felt like...and even showed him where I felt it, and how it makes my eyes jump. My Daughter even verified that my eyes shake/quiver at times.Needless to say...More test are being done. I am happy to anounce no T/C's since my new meds! Yahoo!Dayna

I too have never had a seizure in my life, that I know of either..........but I have had migraine headaches off and on for years.  Only recently have the headaches gotten so bad and frequent that it is becoming a problem.  Almost daily now.   I experience these undescribable/bizarre sensations, sometimes before, and during the migraine.  The best way I can describe this event is.............1) an electical shock that starts in my right index finger and travels up my arm and to my head.  It feels almost as if I have just placed my finger on some live electic current.   2) I actually lose focus/awareness of whatever it is that I am in the process of doing, whether it be watching TV, doing the dishes, or worse yet, driving  3)  During these episodes, I can feel my eyes slightly shake too.   My husband and I have joked about what I call the "finger and brain zaps" for about 10 years now...........and I even saw a MD. about it @ 6 years ago.  The MD. thought it was do to stress at the time, and possibly a cousin to the Panic Attacks he thought I had had.  He prescribed xanax.   Let me add.........that these mysterious episodes only last for split seconds, so most of the time I can regroup and continue whatever task I was in the process of doing. (Note:  The xanax didn't help the "finger and brain zap" occurences to disappear, but it certainly made me relaxed enough to care) Ha....... However, to date, these, strange little episodes are happening many times a day, and I am starting not to be able to focus on any task for long.  Reading and watching television are becoming a challenge.   My husband is convinced that I may still be suffering from stress, and is sending me to a Physciatric Doctor on Friday.   At this point I can care less about what type of MD. he suggest I see, as long as he/she can fix these migraine headaches and peculiar events, etc.   I am not 100 percent sold on the idea of stress being the main culprit here, but I'm willing to explore........... Maybe, I just need a new Brain!   Can anyone share any advice with me, like what might be going on with me and/or questions I should ask my doctor (I also plan to schedule an apt. with our General Practicioner, too)............I am starting to get scared and concerned? 

Hi Happy Kat,I suggest a Neurologist. I was having a lot of trouble on my left side that the MD's kept attributing to stress, Depression, and being a big baby. Yeah Right I gave birth withouth any medication. Baby my Hiney.Anyway, I refused to believe it was just stress. And yes I went throught the Xanax/AntiDepressant route also. Yes didn't help the numbness, or Zaps, I just didn't care...In fact I didn't care about anything at one time in my life.This time when it started getting worse and I started losing consciousness, I demanded they find what is causing it. I had to go out of network to get the help I needed.I am kinda fuzzy right now so I can't give advice OK. In fact I better get off computer.

are you okay Dayna?

Hi Spiz,No I am still not feeling too well. I am fighting these darn zaps. They seem to be hitting me almost nonstop for the past couple days. I have had my hubby give me a massage- even tat didn't help. I wish it would stop. I can barely see. Everything is bouncing/double...and my hands keep jumping all over.

Hi Dayna, I am so, so sorry. I wish the zaps would go away and leave you alone. Have you ever had an ear zap? It feels like someone has stabbed me in the ear with an icepick. Same pain, same burning sensation. I don't have those near as often as the head zaps. They like to slap me up side the head when I'm least expecting it. I hope you feel better real soon. Maybe by the time you read this you will already be feeling better. I sure hope so. -Spiz

Thank you Spiz,Yep Ear Zap is not at all pleasant. I thought it was because I kept changing altitudes(when I was working), but now that I am off I still have them, just not as often. Mine mostly hit me in the back of my head and on the top of my head. When it hits the back of my head I have a real hard time. That is why I enjoy the floating in water. Somehow it seems the pressure in my head and the pressure in the air is neutralized by the water. I don't like when it takes out my eyesight. Even if it is just for a few seconds at a time. Or just makes everything blurry, that is the buzz on the top/sides of my head. It's funny I always associated/blamed these episodes on other things. Or thought I was just weird for having them. I never even thought they could be seizures. Oh I feel so childish, 3 days of this. Here I am a grown woman raising 2 kids, I guess I will get out of my pity pool now.

I think I may have what everybody seems to be calling zaps, I call them Harry Potter pains.  Have your doctors diagnosed them as seizures?  They are very painful, but have never interrupted what I am doing.  Sometimes several a week, sometimes none for months.  They only last for seconds so I pretty much ignore them.  Should I be talking to my Dr?

Ha...I never even thought about these "zaps" being anything in and of themselves. always kind of chalked them up to being another side-effect to my meds more than likely.  Now I feel kind of "duh".  I did try describing them to my neuro today...I likened it to an electric hum and then quick shock (I get them behind my eyes and in my H says I look like a dog with fleas shaking it's head all the time).  He decided to try switching me to Lamictal despite trileptal being somewhat successful at controlling my seizures (ok...I consider a seizure once a month or so as "control" compared to what I have had in the past).  He said my quality of life was suffering with all of the side effects and that was just as important as stopping the seizures, so time to try something new.  He cautioned me that it is a change that is going to take quite some time though and is keeping me on my current does of trileptal (1500 mg a day) while slowly introducing the lamictal in (25mg before bed to start) and then slowly weaning me off of the trileptal.I truly hate having my meds messed with...that whole process of acclimating to something new is just yucky.  Will let ya'all know if it has any effect on the "zaps" or not.Zoo

Dayna, What?! You had a pity pool party and didn't invite me? I'd a brought my swimsuit, flippers and a beach ball that we could have thrown at anybody that seemed to be too happy! ( Ahem! I meant the ball could be thrown-not the swimsuit or flippers......ok,the flippers too but the swimsuit stays.) Seriously, I'm so glad you're feeling better. I was worried. I never thought they could be seizures either but I know I do find them scary at times. My doctor said they were probably due to stress but that it could be E related too. He said that stress could bring on epilectic symptoms in a non-epilectic person.Which to me is saying that a person without epilepsy that is under stress can have this happen to them but it doesn't mean they are epileptic.Did that make sense? Sometimes what comes out of a person's mouth isn't always what enters my ears. That's why I prefer everything written, I can refer back to it as many times as I need to and not feel so unsure about repeating it. But that's how I understood it. But in my opinion anyone that has these symptoms should definitely mention it to their doctor(s). If for no other reason than to make them aware. -Spiz

Hi All,Just wanted to shoot out a quick update post!  I had my scheduled Doctors visit friday.  He loaded me up on an antidepressant and 2 anxiety medications.  Recommended that I see my GP soon, about the migraines, and the weird (Head Zap) thing.  Asked if I'd ever been hospitalized for suspected seizure activity, since I used to have fainting spells back in my teen and college years.  I am 36 now. Hubby now thinks that maybe I should see a neuro. doc. instead.   I am not sure how all of this works out with our medical insurance.  I just paid $250 for the visit on friday.  Completely neice was rushed to the ER this weekend.  It was obvious that she had suffered some type of seizure.  They are still running test today, as I write this post to determine more.   Will know more later today,  I hope!  In the meantime, I will sit by the pray"When it rains, it pours"   Hope everyone else is having a good day!Happykatt :) 


My nickname of batman is due to my first and middle name. Bruce Wayne.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />Then, while I was in the Navy doing general and preventive maintenance, one person started calling me grease monkey.Bruce J

I take Zonegran, 200mg at night. I just started taking it in February, I also take Carbemazepan 200 mg. My Neuro said the Zonegran could make me really sleepy, but I don't find that to be the case. Although I do sleep really deep ( when my dogs let me). He said we will have to watch my kidneys to make sure I don't develop stones. Oh Yeah Make Sure Your Kid Drinks LOTS of Fluids to avoid the Stones. And make sure you read the everything you can on the interactions. They say that with the carbemazepan I need to be monitored a bit more closely than normal Neuro just calls me and asks me how I feel. I was on Topomax, I really didn't like that one, we called it my stupid pills.As you have probably read I am not totally under control, we just need to do some adjustments. But this is a Great improvement from what I was a couple months ago.Dayna

Oh yeah, is it just me or is everyone zapping more than normal lately?

I have been and the weird thing is I'm also zapping on upper side of my head. They were so bad saturday I ended up with a migraine. When I have them on the side and the zap and the burning sensation go away,I still have a ....I'm sorry-I can't think of the word. It's not a tickle-it's a impression sensation with a very,very slight tingle. -Spiz

do you mean the tingle?I have an electrical wire along my fence to keep the dogs in, well once I accidently touched it and I felt a weird sensation/tingle in my hand for a long time. ( By the way the power has been turned off of the line for years but my Dogs don't know that.) Well the electrical charge that I felt is like my head zaps, and the after sensation is the tingle.

Yes, it's a tingle but there's cool sensation with the tingle that lasts. I've never had them on the side of my head before and it's the same except for that last sensation. Why am I having them on the upper side all the sudden? The zapper decided it wanted a new zip code?

No it just thinks you are me.

I can understand how it could confuse the two of us. Tell ya what-I won't let on that I'm not you and maybe it'll leave you alone. Or are you me since I'm you?

Well, let's see...since we both have the zaps in the back of the head and on the top of the head, they could be mine or they could be yours...but the ear zaps you can have back.Hey have you been getting a weird sensation in your lips? Almost a vibration, but not quite? slightly more than a tingle?

No, my bottom lip feels numb for a long time afterward. Novacaine numb but without feeling big.

ATTENTION ALL repliers,<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />Every single one of you who are having the “mind pulses, head zaps”, you are having a seizure. And yes, stress can be a good reason as to why youÂ’re having them, along with sleep deprivation. This seizure is called a “simple partial seizure”, which is also commonly known as being “auras”. IÂ’ve had them for 18 years now and nicknamed them jolts. People may have just one or maybe a group of these seizures clumped together. They vary from person to person and from day to day. For myself, I may have only one throughout a entire day, then a clump of them on the next day. The strength also varies. To help answer JolieÂ’s question in message #9Â…having a brain tumor is just one of the reasons why people might have epilepsy. You posted your message on Feb 14, 2005, saying that youÂ’re scheduled for a MRI on Friday, which must have been Feb 18th. How did everything go and were there any results from it?Got any more questions then please feel free to ask, because thatÂ’s what this support group is here for.Bruce J

Concering the Zaps. I have them, Only when I have them the whole left side of my body dose not work at all..I droll and bite my toung and hit people who try to help me..When I come out of it I am crying and dont have a clue were i am..I can not drive and I am really confused can anyone help me???What are they???

Hey there 'Bruce',,How ya doing??It's Tracey,,& I agree with what you've said,,,& to top it off,,,I had '2-Surgeries' done in 'London-Ontario-Hospital'(Best place to go) & they told me,,that these 'Feelings' we get,,generally are 'like friction' between the 'Left & Right-Sides' of our 'Brain'. When they aren't 'Co-operating' or (as they phrase it) Arguing,,they cause 'buzzy feelings,head zaps etc',,I hope this helped of some Kind,,I love talking in here to everyone,,,It's Great knowing other's out there know how I feel/& feel some-what the same,,,Take-Care,,,Trac,,,,

Spiz, where are you feeling the bad pain or hurting feelings? If itÂ’s through out your body it might be just because of the muscles tensing up when youÂ’re having a seizure. Please tell me more about what youÂ’re feeling and where itÂ’s at. Hope19, Concerning the Zaps. I have them, only when I have them the whole left side of my body dose not work at all. I droll and bite my tongue and hit people who try to help me. When I come out of it I am crying and donÂ’t have a clue were I am. I can not drive and I am really confused can anyone help me??? What are they???Hope19, biting your tongue matches the seizures called tonic clonic seizures. Commonly and popularly known as grand mals. And those youÂ’re experiencing with trying to hit other people and not having a clue where youÂ’re at, may fit into the complex partial seizure type. IÂ’m not for certain about the first one you described, about the left side of your body not working, but might be in the simple partial category type. I will say that because this is happening on the left side of you body, it probably has something to do in the right side of your brain.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />Have some questions for you though Hope19. Are you aware or unaware of whatÂ’s happening when youÂ’re having any of the seizures? And if so, tell us, which oneÂ’s are which. More detailed information is very helpful for diagnosing the seizure types. This is something you doctor will need to know about. Let us know and we'll see if we can help you both with more useful information.Bruce J

Batman, The zap always hits the top or back of my head. The pain is severe and it is always followed by a very painful burning sensation. Then it's gone. Afterwards my head and the top of the back of my neck ache like a dull throb. I'm usually nauseated and my mind goes totally blank afterwards also. I've never been in the state of mind to time it when it happens but it doesn't seem to last long . Shaking off the blankness last longer than anything. Thanks, Spiz

Spiz, I think that I also had some pains sometimes too. Just depended on the strength of the simple partial seizure/auras, and many of these did occur. I see what you mentioned about the amount of time being unknown, but do you know roughly if that time would last more or less than an hour? Overall, the max amount of time for mine were around or less than half an hour.Bruce J

Batman, A rough estimate would definitely be under 30 minutes. There is only I can give a definite time too and that would 12-14 minutes. My husband came in right as the afternoon news came on and ask me to fix him a glass of tea. I went to the freezer to get the ice and that's when it hit. I was sitting at the table staring at the glass still in my hand when he came in to ask why it took 15 min to fix a glass of tea. I looked at the clock and it was 14 after 12. I still didn't feel completely with it but that's not unusual. Just makes me appreciate the clear days! Thanks, Spiz

Sometime I know were I am sometime I dont it just depends on what it is I bit so hard on my toung today that it bleed,My doctor does not know anything about whats going on I go to New Orleans Louisiana and see 6 different doctors who are the best in our state.Some time I will be out of it for up to a hour and then some time i come straight out of it.Than Sometime I have to go to the hospital.Its really scary for me bacuse I have no Idea what is going on and peoople look at me like im crazy when I am in out somewere...Than sometime I have a problum with weting my self when I have the long ones..Thanks for the help and please keep helping. I go for a sleep deprived EEG on the 3/3/05 and a a MRI on 3/3/05..I have had cat scans and they show nothing and blood work just shows that my dilantian is 4 after i am takeing 1400 mgs of it a day...PLease help..Hope

Hope, <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />I did some more searching for the posting and replies youÂ’ve added through out the community and see that some of it is pretty much the same information. Because of it and your asking for help, IÂ’m going to try to see if I can. The latest posting/reply youÂ’ve done in Mind pulses, head zaps, on Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 1:25 PM. Everyone who still has repeated seizures are legally not allowed to drive, unless their seizures have been under control enough by their state required laws. I live in Texas and must wait 6 full months of not having seizures, because it would be dangerous if I have an accident. I could take away someone elseÂ’s life and/or my own. The last time I was driving my own vehicle I had a complex partial seizure and had an accident. Luckily, I no one else was involved and I survived with no problems. YouÂ’re seizures may be occurring because of your menstrual cycles, reason why is because of the hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle. For much more information in detail about this business check out each of these three separate websites. The first one alone has some info that may be very helpful enough. If necessary, copy and paste these website addresses to get to them. Of the doctors youÂ’ve seen or are still seeing, what type of doctors are they? Are any of them neurologists and/or epileptologist? Of the doctors youÂ’ve seen or are still seeing, what type of doctors are they? Are any of them neurologists and/or epileptologist? Don't become scared or embarrassed about any of this, just let us know more detailed information youÂ’re going through related to seizures and we'll see if we can help.Bruce J

Main thing is I am embarised about it. I feel like I am a encompleat person..I see both neurolgists and epieptologist, Though they have said that I am a Sisteic Epoleptic and i do not know what that means.and that my speach and moator skills are slowing down,When i start my menstrual cycles I do tend to have them worse. and when I eat sertion things.(forgive the speling) Sometime my head goes to the left as my grandmother said it did today and i bit my tounge and i do not know what is going on in my head but would like to know.I shake really bad dearing the sezures as I am told sometime I know whats going on around me but its like im in a tunel and i cant tell them i can hear them..i hope this helps if you wanna know anything else just ask..hope

NO Hope, You are not incomplete. You wrote down whatever it is that the doctors are labeling you as being, but I couldnÂ’t figure out the first word clearly enough. You spelt it ‘SisteicÂ’. Would you double check and find out how it is spelt correctly. I do some more online searching to look in to it.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> There is so much information people need to learn about epilepsy and it is available online. A thorough amount of this can be found by going to the home page of the Take some time and go through the menu choices listed on the home page. These being the ‘ALL ABOUT EPILEPSY & SEIZURESÂ’, ‘DIAGNOSISÂ’, ‘TREATMENTÂ’, ‘LIVING WITH EPILEPSYÂ’ and ‘RESOURCESÂ’. Each and every one of these will break down into more menu choices. Go slow and check it all out. Now, with you letting me know that youÂ’re in Louisiana, I checked the Internet and found that there is a Epilepsy Foundation available in your state. More about it listed below. Affiliate responsible for LouisianaEpilepsy Foundation Louisiana3701 Canal Street, Suite HNew Orleans, LA 70119-6101(504) 486-6326(800) Once you go onto this website, click on the menu choice of ‘Support GroupsÂ’, which is along the left side of the screen. I did and on the next screen it shows 4 separate support groups.Hope this helps you Hope.Bruce J

I can tell you what it means it means that you cant stop haveing them. But that is the hospital that I go too.

HI,,,how are you,,,I'm "Tracey",,& my 'First-Question',,is "What Medication is your Husband on?" ,,& Second,,do these 'feelings in his head',,feel like 'vibrations'/complicate with his 'vision',& does it feel like 'a loud Buzz noise',?? I don't know how else to explain it,,but if any of these are what he's dealing with,,YES...I do,,!! As I asked earlier,,What Medication is he on,,,? It could be 'complicating' with his 'Epilepsy'!!! I was told that from my Doctor,,,Please get back to us,,My "Husband & I" would REALLY like to hear from you Both...Take-Care,,"P.S"..My "Maiden" name is "Edwards" too,,Gee,,Mabe we're related,,LOL,,,

Thanks for your reply. He is on Depakote (2000 a day) and Keppra (500 a day). i don't think he hears any buzz noise... it's more of a pulse or feeling. It seems like everyone on this thread feels or hears something a little different, but it's somewhat similar in the consiousness and the duration. It has been helpful to hear everyones experiences and to be introduced to simple partial seizures. (The Edwards name I married into is from New Zealand, but you never know. :)

Hi Spiz, Batman and all,Thank you all for the info. I am passing this on to the Neuro, who then goes and talks to the Epi and then calls me back. I just love my neuro, if he doesn't know he admits it and goes and finds the answer. Ahh Young Doctors are the best.Spiz I promise next Pity party I will e-mail you and we will have fun. OK?

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