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.”