What is a Seizure?
A seizure is a short-change in normal brain activity and the main sign of epilepsy.
Seizures can look like staring spells; defined as absent seizures. Or they can be identified as tonic-clonic seizures which cause a person to fall, shake, become convulsive, and lose awareness of their surroundings.
People with epilepsy can have more than one type of seizure.
Seizures are classified into two groups.
- Generalized seizures affect both sides of the brain.
- Absence seizures, also called petit mal seizures, can cause rapid blinking or a few seconds of staring into space.
- Tonic-clonic seizures, also called grand mal seizures, can cause a person to lose consciousness, fall to the ground, and have muscle jerks or spasms.
- Focal seizures affect just one area of the brain. These seizures are also called partial seizures.
- Simple focal seizures can cause twitching or a change in sensation such as taste or smell
- Complex focal seizures can cause a person to become confused or dazed and the person may be unable to respond to questions for a few minutes.
- Secondary generalized seizures begin in one part of the brain, but then spread to both sides of the brain.