Everything You Need to Know About Seizures in Epilepsy Patients

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Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects approximately 3.4 million Americans and 65 million people worldwide. It’s characterized by recurrent seizures, which are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. While not all seizures look the same, there are some common types of seizures that affect epilepsy patients. It’s important for those with epilepsy—as well as their families and caregivers—to be aware of these different types of seizures so they can respond appropriately if one occurs. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of seizures associated with epilepsy.

Generalized Seizures

Generalized seizures involve all or most of the brain at once and usually cause a person to lose consciousness. There are six main types of generalized seizures: tonic-clonic (also known as grand mal) seizures, clonic seizures, tonic seizures, myoclonic seizures, atonic (akinetic) seizures, and absence (petit mal) seizures.  Tonics-clonic and clonic seizure both involve rhythmic jerking movements of the limbs; tonic seizure involve stiffening muscles; myoclonic seizure involve sudden jerks or spasms; atonic seizure cause a loss of muscle control; and absence seizure cause a brief lapse in awareness lasting only seconds.

Partial (or focal) seizures occur when only part of the brain is affected by abnormal electrical activity. These types of seize can be further divided into two categories: simple partial and complex partial. Simple partial seizures don’t cause a loss in consciousness—in fact, some people don’t even realize they’re having them—while complex partial seizures do cause a person to become unresponsive for a short period of time during which they may perform repetitive movements like smacking their lips or rubbing their hands together. Other symptoms include changes in emotions or sensory experiences such as seeing flashes or hearing strange sounds that aren’t actually there.

Epilepsy is an unpredictable disorder but being aware and informed about its symptoms can help you better manage it on a day-to-day basis. Knowing about the different types of seizures associated with epilepsy can also help you recognize when one is occurring and act accordingly to ensure your safety or the safety of someone else experiencing an episode. If you have concerns about your symptoms or have any questions about managing your condition, talk to your doctor right away so they can provide advice tailored specifically to your needs!

The neurologists at THE BRAIN CENTER are specially trained in the care and treatment of Epilepsy. We also offer free yoga Zoom classes that can help patients manage their epilepsy. To learn more information about how our neurology team can help with your diagnosis and treatment, call us at our office at: (786) 565-8735