Game Over: Mahjong Can Cause Epilepsy

By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Aug 4, 2007 12:43 PM CDT
A group of Chinese Americans play mahjong at the City Hall Senior Center at Hamilton Madison House in New York, Monday, July 9, 2007 where a city "Cooling Center" has been set up for residents who can...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Playing the traditional Chinese tile game of mahjong can induce epileptic fits, a new study from Hong Kong shows, and the only remedy is to lay off the tiles. Men were far more susceptible than women, according to the authors, and it wasn't just lack of sleep or gambling stress that provoked the attacks.

The problem is the game itself, which demands high levels of mental processing—drawing on memory, reasoning, and calculation, among other skills.To make matters worse, in China mahjong is often played in jam-packed parlors, where the actual sound of the tiles hitting the table may contribute to the seizure syndrome.