Different Kinds of Epilepsy/Seizure Disorders 4

SEIZURE TYPE

DESCRIPTION

G

E

N

E

R

A

L

I

Z

E

D

Tonic Clonic or
Grand Mal
(loss of consciousness)

This is the most common generalized seizure. It is the most recognized. A person becomes stiff and falls to the ground. Teeth clench. Arms and usually legs jerk rapidly and rhythmically. It usually lasts no more than a few minutes. Afterwards the jerking slows and stops.

Absence or Petit Mal
(loss of consciousness)

During an absence seizure it might seem like a person is daydreaming. But you can’t get their attention or wake them up. They are not conscious for a moment. They are not aware of what is happening around them. It usually lasts a few seconds.

Myoclonic or Jerks
(no loss of consciousness)

These are brief shock-like jerks in one or more muscles. They usually involve the neck, shoulders, and upper arms. They usually happen in the morning. They often happen in a cluster. A person is aware of what is going on. Although the jerks are brief, they can be very frustrating. People often spill or drop things.

Tonic and Atonic
(loss of consciousness)

In a tonic seizure all muscles contract. The body stiffens and the person will fall over if unsupported.

Atonic seizures, in a way, are opposite. Instead of the body going stiff, it goes limp. A limp body usually falls forward so there is a concern for head injuries. People can usually get up again right away.

Status Epilepticus
(loss of consciousness)

This type of seizure has frequent, long-lasting seizures without regaining consciousness between attacks.

P

A

R

T

I

A

L

Simple
(no loss of consciousness)

With simple seizures, a person is conscious. But they still can’t stop or control the seizure. Simple partial seizures can be different depending on where in the brain it is occurring. Examples of symptoms are the movement of a limb, tingling, experiencing a smell or taste, and going pale or sweating.

Complex
(loss of consciousness)

A person is not conscious during this type of seizure. They will not remember the seizure or their memory of it will be fuzzy. Usually the person stares blankly. Most people move their mouth, pick at the air or their clothes, or repeat other actions with no purpose. These are called "automatisms." Others may think the person is aware of what they are doing, but they are not. These seizures usually last 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

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