This Way Up for 20 August 2016

Epilepsy assistance dogs, Tinder shakes up India's dating scene, and how painting 'scary' fake eyes on cows' bottoms in Africa is good news for lions!

Epilepsy: Ava's story

Six year old Ava has just found out she's got epilepsy.

"So I look up and close my eyes, then I just look around the room for a moment, then come back to normal" - Ava

Because the temporal, occipital, and parietal lobes are so close, electrical activity can easily travel between them

Because the temporal, occipital, and parietal lobes are so close, electrical activity can easily travel between them Photo: Public Domain Henry Vandyke Carter Henry Gray (1918) Anatomy of the Human Body

“One night we were dinner and I was having a conversation with Ava. And right in the middle of the conversation she stopped talking and seemed to close her eyes. I thought ‘Gosh, she’s exhausted, she’s falling asleep at the table’. Then she did the same thing at bedtime – just seemed to blank out.

"So, of course, being a 20th-century mother, I googled it as soon as she’d gone to sleep. And the result came back that she was likely to be having an epileptic fit. Not the fit that I thought of as being epilepsy, but an absent seizure, which is just a pausing of awareness” - Amelia

Epilepsy: causes and treatments

"It's a very disarming experience for patients, because it's something they have no control over."

Dr Ian Rosemergy has a particular interest in epilepsy. He's a consultant neurologist and the clinical leader for neurology at Capital & Coast DHB.

Epilepsy Bracelet

Photo: (Flickr user Anthony Catalano CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Epilepsy Assistance Dogs

NZ Epilepsy Assist Dog Trust has so far placed 18 specially trained dogs with epilepsy sufferers around New Zealand.

The dogs not only help people manage seizures, they can also help break down the stigma and prejudice around epilepsy. Sometimes they can even alert their owners they may be about to have a seizure.

Simon Morton meets NZ Epilepsy Assist Dog Trust founder Andrea Hawkless, dog trainer Paula Denby-Gibbs, Erica Tiedermann and her dog Casper and Kate Hendra and her dog Roxy.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterised by recurrent seizures that affects somewhere between 1 and 2 percent of the population here in New Zealand and about 50 million people worldwide.

Related audio:

Epilepsy; Ava's story
Epilepsy: Causes and treatments

India: taxes and Tinder

In India the dating app Tinder is disrupting traditional ideas of love and relationships, while historic tax reforms bring the country's 1.25 billion consumers into a single market for the first time.

I love my India…….

I love my India……. Photo: (Flickr user ragesh ev CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Vidhi Doshi says a 'love marriage' (as opposed to an arranged marriage) is still quite a new concept for people in India.

"Tinder has the potential to change all that because it means people are dating and finding each other in a completely new way in this place where dating is still a very difficult thing for people to talk about and to live with."

'Scary ass' cows

'Scary' eyes painted on to African cows' bottoms are the secret weapon in a fight to deter lions from attacking cattle and being killed in retaliation by farmers. The painted eyes supposedly trick the big cats into thinking they have been seen by the cows, which deters them from attacking.

"Lions and other big cats are 'ambush' predators, which means they rely on the element of surprise to bring down their prey. Once they lose that element of surprise, once they're seen by their prey, then tend to give up on the hunt" - Dr Neil Jordan.