Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Seizures Types

Types of seizures include:

Types of Seizures
  • Febrile seizure:
  • Petit-mal seizure:
    • A person with petit-mal seizures has abnormal electrical activity in the brain that causes short episodes of staring and loss of awareness.
    • The most common type of seizure in children between the ages of 6 and 12 years
  • Grand-mal seizure:
  • Psychomotor seizure:
  • Simple partial seizures:
    • These are the most common type of seizure seen in people with epilepsy.
    • The seizure is limited to one area of the brain.
    • The person remains conscious during the seizure.
    • The person appears anxious during the seizure.
    • The person may make repetitive movements that are confined to a single area of the body, such as the thumb or the big toe.
    • Simple partial seizures can spread within the brain, leading to a grand-mal seizure.
  • Complex partial seizures:
    • The seizure occurs in the frontal lobe or the temporal lobe of the brain.
    • The person has decreased awareness of himself and his surroundings.
    • In most cases, the person will not respond.
    • In some cases, they respond only to very simple commands.
    • Commonly, the person displays automatisms, which are involuntary actions or vocalizations. Examples of automatisms include moaning, lip-smacking, chewing motions, or unusual speech.

Continue to Seizures Anatomy

Last Updated: Jan 4, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Seizures References
  1. Alsaadi TM, Marquez AV. Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Sep 1;72(5):849-56. [16156345]
  2. Camfield P, Camfield C. Epileptic syndromes in childhood: clinical features, outcomes, and treatment. Epilepsia. 2002;43 Suppl 3:27-32. [12060004]
  3. Kinsman SL, Vining EP, Quaskey SA, Mellits D, Freeman JM. Efficacy of the ketogenic diet for intractable seizure disorders: review of 58 cases. Epilepsia. 1992 Nov-Dec;33(6):1132-6. [1464275]
  4. Pearl PL, Bennett HD, Khademian Z. Seizures and metabolic disease. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2005 Mar;5(2):127-33. [15743550]
  5. Posner EB, Mohamed K, Marson AG. A systematic review of treatment of typical absence seizures in children and adolescents with ethosuximide, sodium valproate or lamotrigine. Seizure. 2005 Mar;14(2):117-22. [15694565]
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