Seizures (Generalized and Partial) Types and Causes | Neurology


What are the seizures?

Seizures are an unexpected, wild electrical aggravation in the cerebrum. It can cause changes in your behavior, movements, or feelings, and in your levels of consciousness. If you have two or more seizures or tend to have frequent seizures, you have epilepsy.

There are many types of seizures, which range in severity. The types of seizures vary according to where and how they start in the brain. Nearly seizures last from 30 seconds to two minutes. A seizure that lasts more than five minutes is considered a medical emergency.

Seizures are more common than you might think. Seizures can occur after a stroke, a closed head injury, or an infection such as meningitis or another illness. Often, the cause of a seizure is unknown.

Most seizure disorders can be controlled with medication, but seizure control can have a big impact on your daily life. The good news is that you can work with your health care professional to balance seizure control with the side effects of medications.

Types of seizures

Generalized seizures

Summed up seizures include the whole cerebrum from the beginning. Includes common subspecies:

  • Tonic-clonic (grand mal): This is the most common subtype. Your arms and legs will stiffen, and you may stop breathing for a bit. Then your limbs will vibrate. Your head will also move.
  • Absence seizures (petit mal): You lose consciousness briefly when you have one of these. Children get it more often than adults. It usually only lasts a few seconds.
  • Febrile seizures: These are the convulsions that a child may have from a high temperature caused by an infection. It can last a few minutes but is usually harmless.
  • Infantile spasms: These symptoms usually stop at the age of four. The child’s body suddenly stiffens, and his head turns forward. Many children with these diseases will develop these diseases later in their lives.

Partial (focal) seizures

There are two types:

  • Focal onset aware seizure: You remain conscious during a seizure, and it is very short (usually less than 2 minutes). You may or may not be able to respond to people while this is happening.
  • Focal onset impaired awareness seizures: It can cause loss of consciousness. You can also do things without knowing it, such as smacking your lips, chewing, moving your legs, or pushing your pelvis.

What are the symptoms of a seizure?

You can experience both focal and generalized seizures at the same time, or they can occur one before the other. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few seconds to 15 minutes per episode.

Sometimes, symptoms occur before a seizure occurs. May include:

  • A sudden feeling of fear or anxiety
  • The feeling of nausea in your stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Change in vision
  • A jerky movement in the arms and legs may cause things to fall
  • The feeling of leaving the body
  • A headache

Include symptoms that indicate a seizure:

  • Loss of consciousness followed by confusion
  • Having muscle spasms that cannot be controlled
  • Drooling or frothiness in the mouth
  • Drop
  • A strange taste in your mouth
  • Gnashing your teeth
  • Bite your tongue
  • The presence of sudden and rapid eye movements
  • Unusual noises, such as snoring
  • Loss of control of bladder or bowel function
  • Sudden mood changes

Causes of seizures

Seizures of all kinds are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

It can include causes of this disease:

  • Abnormal levels of sodium or glucose in the blood
  • Brain infection, including meningitis and encephalitis
  • A brain injury that occurs to a child during labor or birth
  • Brain problems that occur before birth (congenital brain defects)
  • Brain tumor (rare)
  • Drug abuse
  • Electric shock
  • Epilepsy
  • Fever (particularly in young children)
  • Head injury
  • Heart disease
  • Heat illness (heat intolerance)
  • High fever
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU), which can cause seizures in infants
  • Poisoning
  • Street drugs are angel dust (PCP), cocaine, amphetamines
  • Stroke
  • Toxemia of pregnancy
  • The accumulation of toxins in the body due to kidney or liver failure
  • Very high blood pressure (malignant hypertension)
  • Venomous bites and stings (such as snake bites)
  • Refrain from consuming alcohol or certain medications after using them for a long time

Sometimes, a cause cannot be found. These are called idiopathic seizures. It usually appears in children and young adults, but it can occur at any age. There might be a family background of epilepsy or seizures. If it persists repeatedly after treating the underlying problem, the condition is called epilepsy.

What is a diagnosis of seizure?

Your doctor will ask you for details about your epileptic seizure and conduct a neurological examination. This will include asking questions about your emotional state and testing your motor skills and mental function. Then they can order one or more of the following tests:

  • Blood or spinal tap tests to look for infection
  • Electroencephalography (EEG), during which a technician attaches electrodes to your brain to monitor the electrical activity inside it
  • An imaging test such as an MRI, computed tomography, or positron emission tomography (PET) scan to look for any problems in your brain

If it occurs frequently, your doctor may give you a more complex test in which electrodes are inserted into your brain through small holes in your skull. This can also be the first step in epilepsy surgery.


A seizure at certain times can lead to conditions that are dangerous for you or others. You may be in danger:

  • If you fall during an epileptic seizure, you can injure your head or break a bone.
  • If you have a seizure while swimming or showering, you are at risk of accidental drowning.
  • Car accidents: A seizure that causes loss of consciousness or control can be dangerous if you drive a car or operate other equipment.
  • Pregnancy complications: Seizures during pregnancy pose a risk to both the mother and the baby, and some antiepileptic medicines increase the risk of birth defects. If you have epilepsy and are planning to become pregnant, work with your doctor so he can adjust your medications and monitor your pregnancy, as needed.
  • Emotional health problems: People who have this disease are more likely to have psychological problems, such as depression and anxiety. The problems may be a result of the difficulties dealing with the condition itself as well as the side effects of medications.

How are seizures treated?

Treatments for seizures depend on the cause. By addressing the cause of seizures, you may be able to prevent future seizures. Includes treatment of seizures caused by epilepsy:

  • Pharmaceutical
  • Surgery to correct brain abnormalities
  • Nerve stimulation
  • A special diet is known as the keto diet

With regular treatment, you can reduce or stop the symptoms of this disease.

How can you prevent seizures?

In many cases, a seizure cannot be prevented. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can give you the best chance to reduce your risks. You can do the following:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat a healthy diet and stay well hydrated
  • Exercising regularly
  • Engage in stress reduction techniques
  • Avoid taking illegal drugs

If you are taking medication for epilepsy or other medical conditions, take it as your doctor recommends.

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