Types of seizures?

Seizures may look scary to onlookers, but a person does not feel pain while having a seizure. Epileptic seizures usually fall into one of two categories: partial or generalized.

Partial or focal seizures

Partial seizures start in one part of the brain, but the abnormal activity may move to other parts of the brain. A person having a partial seizure may experience twitching throughout the body; have slurred, abnormal or unusual speech; or feel tingling throughout one side of the body. How a person experiences this all depends on what part of the brain is experiencing abnormal electrical activity.

During a partial seizure, a person may or may not be aware of his surroundings or actions. If the person does not lose awareness, it is called a simple seizure, and it is called a complex seizure if the person does lose awareness and the ability to interact with their surroundings.

Generalized seizures

Generalized seizures involve simultaneous abnormal electrical activities all over the brain. There are different types of generalized seizures.

Absence seizures

During an absence seizure, a person will look like they are staring off into space or day dreaming for about 15 seconds After this type of seizure, the person usually quickly returns to their normal level of activity.

Tonic-clonic seizures

In a tonic-clonic seizure, a person’s eyes may roll back, their muscles may stiffen and the person may make sudden jerking motions such as flinging their arms. Their body may also go limp, causing them to slump down or fall over. They may lose control of their bladder or bowel.

Myoclonic seizures

Myoclonic seizures are brief, shock-like jerks of the muscles. These seizures generally do not last more than a few seconds. Sometimes a person will only experience one myoclonic seizure, but it’s possible that they may experience many in a short period of time (clusters).

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