Hypokalemic sensory overstimulation

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Hypokalemic sensory overstimulation

Hypokalemic sensory overstimulation is characterized by a subjective experience of sensory overload and a relative resistance to lidocaine local anesthesia. The sensory overload is treatable with oral potassium gluconate. The phenotype overlaps with that of attention deficit disorder, raising the possibility of subtypes of attention deficit disorder that have a peripheral sensory cause and possible new forms of therapy.

It is not to be confused with hot tooth syndrome.


Hypokalemic sensory overstimulation is a term coined by MM Segal to describe a syndrome that has been reported in a single case-study by his group. Segal describes the syndrome as a form of neurological disorder that has similarities to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and has several similarities to disorders of ion channels, in particular to the muscle disorder hypokalemic periodic paralysis.[1][2][3]

It is medically related to disorders of ion channels, in particular to the muscle disorder hypokalemic periodic paralysis[1][2][3] and is similar in nature to ADHD[1][2][3], as the prominent feature of hypokalemic sensory overstimulation is the feeling of sensory overstimulation that is also characteristic of attention deficit disorder[4] and the over stimulation of the nervous system.[4]. It may also be connected with premenstrual syndrome[1] and the body's natural sodium levels.[1]



The use of oral potassium and avoiding high carbohydrate meals can help treat it according to recent tests.[5][6] Dr. Jacob O. Levitt, a dermatologist who has hypokalemic periodic paralysis, recently conducted research in to it.[6]

It can reduce the effectiveness of the sodium-channel blocker lidocaine in dental work, so the amide-type local anesthetic. articaine is used on patients instead. [7][8]


  1. ^ a b c d e Segal MM, Rogers GF, Needleman HL, Chapman CA (2007). Hypokalemic sensory overstimulation. J Child Neurol 22 (12): 1408–10.
  2. ^ a b c http://pediatricneurology.com/sound.htm
  3. ^ a b c https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/adhd/index.shtml
  4. ^ a b http://pediatricneurology.com/sound.htm PediatricNeurology.com
  5. ^ "What causes ADHD? Some intriguing findings". 11 January 2008. 
  6. ^ a b Levitt, Jacob O. (21 April 2008). "Practical aspects in the management of hypokalemic periodic paralysis". Journal of Translational Medicine. 6 (1): 18. doi:10.1186/1479-5876-6-18 – via www.translational-medicine.com. 
  7. ^ Segal MM, Rogers GF, Needleman HL, Chapman CA (Dec 2007). "Hypokalemic sensory overstimulation". Journal of child neurology. 22 (12): 1408–10. doi:10.1177/0883073807307095. PMID 18174562. 
  8. ^ Segal, Michael M.; Rogers, Gary F.; Needleman, Howard L.; Chapman, Catherine A. (1 December 2007). "Hypokalemic Sensory Overstimulation". Journal of Child Neurology. 22 (12): 1408–1410. doi:10.1177/0883073807307095 – via SAGE Journals. 

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