In old and modern times and across cultures, recurrent seizures have been attributed to the lunar phase. It is unclear whether this relationship should be classified as a myth or whether a true connection exists between moon phases and seizures. We analyzed the worldwide aggregated search queries related to epilepsy health-seeking behavior between 2005 and 2012. Epilepsy-related Internet searches increased in periods with a high moon illumination. The overall association was weak (r=0.11, 95% confidence interval: 0.07 to 0.14) but seems to be higher than most control search queries not related to epilepsy. Increased sleep deprivation during periods of full moon might explain this positive association and warrants further study into epilepsy-related health-seeking behavior on the Internet, the lunar phase, and its contribution to nocturnal luminance.
Keywords: Epilepsy; Lunar cycle; Moonstruck; Recurrent seizures; Search queries; Sleep deprivation.