Edgar Cayce’s Perspective on Abdominal Epilepsy

Edgar Cayce's explanation of abdominal epilepsy is that nervous system in coordination in the abdomen ("abdominal brain") is transferred to the brain via the medulla oblongata. The medulla oblongata is a major nerve center at the base of the brain where the spinal cord enters the brain.

As discussed in other sections, Cayce identified "adhesions" in the lacteal ducts of the abdomen as the source of the nervous system in coordination which was transferred from the abdominal brain to the brain in the head via the medulla oblongata. Physiologically, lacteal ducts are part of the lymphatic system. They absorb fats and proteins from the small intestine. Cayce stated that various etiological factors (e.g., high fever, abdominal injury, reflexes from other portions of the nervous system) could produce "adhesions" in the area of the lacteal ducts. An adhesion is a:

"... union of two surfaces that are normally separate; also, any fibrous band that connects them. Surgery within the abdomen sometimes results in adhesions from scar tissue. As an organ heals, fibrous scar tissue forms around the incision. This scar tissue may cling to the surface of adjoining organs, causing them to kink. Adhesions are usually painless and cause no difficulties, although occasionally they produce obstruction or malfunction by distorting the organ." (Miller & Keane, 1972, p. 16)

Abdominal adhesions were a major etiological factor in Cayce's model of epilepsy. He noted that adhesions to the lacteal duct area could be produced by a variety of sources including high fever, abdominal injury, and nerve reflexes from injured spinal centers.

Here are a couple of examples of Cayce's description of the pathophysiology of abdominal epilepsy. The first case involved an eighteen year old male. Cayce stated that there had been a spinal injury producing nerve reflexes to the abdomen which:

"... caused a slowing of the circulation through the areas of the lacteal ducts, thus producing a cold area there, that has produced a partial adherence of tissue.

With the activity of the lymph through the area, we find that periodically, when there is the lack of proper eliminations through the alimentary canal, there occurs a reflex to the coordination between sympathetic [abdominal brain] and cerebrospinal [central nervous] system area; that takes the governing of the impulse, as it were, to the brain reactions; or a form of spasmodic reaction that might be called epileptic in its nature." (1980-1)

Note the reference to adhesion ("adherence of tissue") and a slowing of circulation through this area. Cayce believed that restricted circulation produced coldness in the area of the lacteal ducts (on the right side of the abdomen). According to Cayce, "From EVERY condition that is of true [idiopathic] epileptic nature there will be found a cold spot or area between the lacteal duct and the caecum." (Cayce, 567-4)

Also note the reference to periodicity associated with "activity of the lymph through the area" and "proper eliminations through the alimentary canal." In other words, cycles of seizure activity were linked to activity of the gastrointestinal tract (i.e., digestion and eliminations). Hence seizure activity may be associated with digestive problems with certain types of foods (e.g., carbohydrates and fats) and/or with improper eliminations (diarrhea or constipation).

Another important point is the importance of "coordination" between the nervous system in the abdomen and the nerves of the brain. Consistent with the growing body of medical information on the "abdominal brain" and enteric nervous system, Cayce referred to the abdominal brain as the "solar plexus brain," (2259-1 & 1800-15), the "secondary brain" (294-212), and the "central brain in the solar plexus" (4613-1). He noted that the brain in the abdomen with its nervous system (the "sympathetic" system) and the brain in the head with its nervous system (the "cerebrospinal system") must coordinate to maintain physical and mental health. When these two systems are out of harmony with each other, various forms of illness usually result. Epileptic seizures might be regarded as the most severe form of in coordination between these two brains and nervous systems of the body. Actually, the extent of nervous system in coordination might be described as almost a complete dissociation.

Here is another description of the basic nervous system in coordination by Edgar Cayce given for an adult suffering from epilepsy :

"As indicated, the lesions or adhesions and lesions in the lacteal ducts are the basic cause for the disturbance in the nervous system. When there is an expression or activity from the sympathetic nervous system we find there is movement or impulse to and from the brain centers themselves. Then with a lesion or adhesion the impulse is cut off or deflected. Then this connection with the solar plexus nerve centers, making for an in coordination with the cerebrospinal nerve system, produces at the base of the brain or through the medulla oblongata an in coordination reaction

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