Seizures can cause changes in your movements or feelings, levels of consciousness and behavior. A seizure is usually defined as a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain.

When seizures happens continuously at the same time, it is called epilepsy. Most seizures last for 30 seconds to two minutes. If seizures last longer, emergency medical treatment is necessary.

Seizures may suddenly happen to almost any individual, or may happen after a person has infection, closed head injury or a stroke.


Focal seizures

Irregular electrical activities in one part of your brain  can result to focal seizures with or without loss of consciousness.

  • Focal seizures with impaired awareness.These happen when you can’t normally react or do movements, like chewing, hand rubbing, swallowing or walking in circles.
  • Focal seizures without loss of consciousness.Even when you are not losing your consciousness, these seizures can make you have unintentional jerking of a body part.

These may often mimic some symptoms of neurological disorders like narcolepsy migraine and mental illnesses.

Generalized seizures

Generalized seizures happen if they came from all brain parts. Below are the various types of generalized seizures with their definitions:

  • Absence seizures. Other name ispetit mal seizures and can cause eye blinking or lip smacking. It is most common in children.
  • Tonic seizures. Directly affect muscles in your arms, back,and legs that can cause you to collapse.
  • Atonic seizures. Previously known as drop seizures, as they may cause you to fall down.
  • Clonic seizures. A repeated muscle jerking.
  • Myoclonic seizures. Sudden brief jerks or twitches of your arms and legs.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures. Also called as grand mal seizures, they can cause you sudden loss of control and consciousness.


Signs and symptoms of seizures may vary depending on their severity and type. These include:

  • A staring spell
  • Cognitive or emotional symptoms, such as fear, anxiety or deja vu
  • Loss of consciousness or awareness
  • Temporary confusion
  • Unintentional jerking movements of the legs and arms


After a seizure, your doctor will thoroughly review your symptoms and medical history. Also, several tests will be advised to find out the cause of your seizures.

Tests may include:

  • A neurological exam
  • An electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Blood tests
  • Computerized tomography (CT)
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT)


Before your physician will give you medications to treat your seizures, he or she will first consider your current condition, age, frequency of your seizures, type of seizures and other medical conditions that may counteract with the prescribed medications. Surgery and other therapies may also be recommended if medications are not effective.

Alternative options include:

  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Dietary therapy
  • Responsive neuro stimulation
  • Surgery
  • Vagus nerve stimulation

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