Neurologist: Chief Justice may be diagnosed with epilepsy
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Chief Justice John Roberts' seizure Monday -- in which he fell 5 to 10 feet and hit his head on a dock near his summer home in Maine -- could be an indication that the nation's top jurist has epilepsy, a neurologist said on CNN Tuesday.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts left the hospital this morning.
He smiled and got into a car and then was whisked away.
"By the strictest definition, epilepsy is two or more seizures that have no known cause," Dr. Wendy Wright, an Emory University neurologist said on CNN's American Morning. "And from what we're hearing this is the Chief Justice's second seizure."
Roberts suffered a benign idiopathic seizure, meaning it does not have a known cause, such as an infection or head injury, Wright said. After being hospitalized overnight after a seizure, Roberts is expected to be released Tuesday from a Rockport, Maine, hospital, a hospital spokesman told reporters.
President Bush called Roberts Tuesday morning, according to White House press secretary Tony Snow.
"The chief justice assured him that he was doing fine," Snow said. "The president was reassured."
According to a local media report, ambulance crews responded "to a call at about 2 p.m. Monday of a man who had fallen 5 to 10 feet and landed on a dock, hitting the back of his head. The patient was ashen and was foaming at the mouth."
"It is difficult to say whether he'll be diagnosed with epilepsy," Wright said. "But now we know that he has had another seizure, so perhaps he will go on to be diagnosed with epilepsy."
"By definition, someone who has had more than one seizure without any other cause is determined to have epilepsy," Dr. Marc Schlosberg, a Washington Hospital Center neurologist who is not involved in the Roberts case told AP.
Roberts spent Monday night in the hospital in after falling five to 10 feet and falling on a dock on Hupper Island, Maine, where Roberts has a summer home. News reports indicate the seizure did not cause Roberts to lose consciousness.
The following video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast on July 31.