An epileptic seizure
is caused by a brief disruption
function involving temporary abnormal electrical activity
in the nerve cells
. Where this activity occurs determines the type of seizure
There are over fourty types of seizures, ranging from seizures which can go totally unnoticed by other people right through to the classic tonic-clonic seizure, which is what most people think of when they hear seizure or epilepsy.
Diagnosis of the cause of seizures is difficult and often confusing to both the patient and the doctor. Epilepsy, by far, is not the only cause of seizures. Many people experience a seizure once in their life, never to be repeated.
The following is a generic, quick breakdown of the various types of seizures.
The most common sort of generalised seizure - used to be known as ‘Grand mal’ (Big Bad).
Tonic phase - The muscles contract, the body stiffens and then -
Clonic phase - jerks uncontrollably. You may let out a cry as air is forced out of the lungs and the lips may go blue due to lack of oxygen. You lose consciousness - when you come round you cannot remember anything. You will need time to recover - from minutes to, in some, hours.
This generalised seizure is literally an absence - a momentary lapse in awareness - used to be called 'Petit Mal’ (Little Bad). Most common in children and teenagers.
You stop what you are doing, stare, blink or look vague for a few seconds before carrying on with what you were doing. Onlookers may think you were just daydreaming or may not notice. For you drug-users out there, this is the exact same thing as a strong head rush.
- Simple partial
Occurs in just part of the brain - type of symptoms depend on the area of the brain involved.
Symptoms include one or more of the following: twitching, numbness, sweating, dizziness, nausea, disturbances to hearing, vision, smell or taste, strong déja vu etc.
These symptoms last for several seconds and then go away. You remain fully aware.
These seizures often progress to other types of seizure and can therefore act as a warning or ‘aura’.
- Complex partial
This common form of seizure includes temporal lobe epilepsy and psychomotor seizures.
You may behave strangely - plucking at your clothes, smacking lips, swallowing repeatedly or wandering around as if drunk - these actions are called automatisms. Other symptoms are similar to simple partial seizures but you may not remember them afterwards.
- Sleep seizures
Some people only experience seizures during their sleep. They can often be missed if nobody witnesses them.
You may find this type of seizure less troublesome than those occurring during the day.
Gleamed from http://epilepsyontario.org/, http://www.seizures.net/ and personal experience ;(