Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the different types of seizures?

 

Partial Seizures begin in a specific part of the brain.  These include:

 

Simple Partial - A seizure that does not alter consciousness.  May produce abnormal sensations such as an unpleasant smell, or a motor movement such as jerking of the arm.

 

Complex Partial - Seizure that alters consciousness causing confusion.

 

Generalized seizures afffect both hemispheres of the brain.  These include:

 

Absence - Previously known as petit mal, triggers a short lapse of consiousness.

 

Atonic - Previously known as a drop attack, causes a complete loss of muscle control and results in collapse.

 

Myoclonic - Triggers sudden jerking in the muscles, often in the arms and legs.

 

Tonic-clonic - Triggers a fall to the ground (tonic phase), followed by jerking movements (clonic phase).

 

Other types of seizures include:

 

Febrile seizures - Caused by higher fever in young children; does not always lead to epilepsy.

 

Status epilpticus - Seizures, life-threatening, nonstop seizures; can be either partial or generalized.

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