Jett Travolta’s seizure and death, was Scientology a factor?

Jett Travolta tragically passed away yesterday, after being found unconscious in his hotel room by his caretaker. There is speculation that he had a seizure and hit his head on a bathtub.

Travolta apparently had a long history of medical problems, including Kawasaki disease, which is a vasculitis that primarily affects children. It is one of the most common causes of acquired heart disease in children, and from my understanding, is unrelated to seizures.

It also appears he had a history of status epilepticus, which can result in focal motor deficits, mental retardation, behavioral disorders, and chronic epilepsy. It is often caused by a neurotransmitter imbalance in the brain; for instance, excessive activation of glutamate, or inadequate synthesis of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain.

Management of chronic seizures typically involves chronic therapy with anti-seizure medications.

Andrew Sullivan speculates on whether Travolta’s religious beliefs influenced his treatment course, wondering “if Jett Travolta’s seizures remained untreated for theological reasons.”

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  • Anonymous

    If the child had a severe disability, as it seems, and the parents chose not to treat him with drugs, is that so wrong?

    How many posts here criticize the families of older folks with multiple chronic diseases who are sustained with nearly zero quality of life at great PUBLIC expense in hosptials?

    The kid had two nannies, he was in a tropical paradise, — not locked in some squalid room.

    If the parents chose to let him live out his natural life in a loved and cared for situation I’m not going to criticize them or drag their weird relgion through the mud.

  • Rogue Medic

    After the autopsy we will have a better idea of what contributed to his death.

  • Anonymous

    “How many posts here criticize the families of older folks with multiple chronic diseases who are sustained with nearly zero quality of life at great PUBLIC expense in hosptials?”

    A-lot.

  • Anonymous

    My question is – are the two personnel performing the autopsy working with or influenced by scientology in any way? If so, their diagnosis will be null in my mind. I want someone not just with medical credentials, but who is not pro or anti affiliated with this “religion”. btw, I’m certain that if it’s discovered scientology denied him a seizure/psychiatric drug he may have needed, the “church” will come out swinging until that information is changed or disappears.

  • Terrie Modesto, PhD

    The death of a child is so heartbreaking no matter the circumstances. It seems even more tragic when it is unexpected. Unfortunately the Travolta and Preston family will now experience a generation of grief where once there was joy.
    Dr. Terrie Modesto
    http://www.drteriemodeto.com

  • Lesley

    Nonsense. We now know Jett was taking a drug called Depakote, a strong anti-seizure medication. There have been reports Travolta refused to give his son anti-seizure meds because of Scientology but those stories are not true.

    http://www.tmz.com/2009/01/05/john-travoltas-son-meds-ultimately-did-harm/

    Also, there is a statement of the Church of Scientology now:
    http://www.bignews.biz/?id=791879&keys=scientology-medicine-illness-seizure