Generalized Seizures – Types And Symptoms
There are many types of seizures, ranging from partial seizures that involve electrical impulse disruption rooting from one specific area of the brain to generalized seizures whose symptoms root from larger areas of the brain. This article discusses the variants of seizure that fall under the generalized seizure category including the symptoms typically exhibited by patients who were diagnosed with them.
In generalized seizures, large areas of the brain are involved, often including both sides of the brain. There is marked loss of consciousness which may be transient or permanent. Abnormal movements are also exhibited, ranging from mild to wild and violent.
Generalized seizures often develop from partial seizures as the electrical discharges spread through different areas of the brain. When this is the case, the type is called secondary generalized seizure. Generalized seizures are not limited to this type though. There are cases when abnormal brain activities set in large areas of the brain, in which case it is called a primary generalized seizure.
In primary generalized seizure, the abnormal brain discharges begin at the center of the brain and take root in the deepest tissues. This allows the simultaneous spread of the discharges to both sides of the brain, causing symptoms that affect both sides of the body.
Tonic-clonic – This is, perhaps, the classic type of seizure. This involves an aura or warning period which is preceded with a cry or yell and followed immediately after by loss of consciousness. After the aura, the patient will fall abruptly and begin to show jerking movements of the hands, legs, face and the head. Incontinence or uncontrollable discharge of urine, biting, and drooling will happen as the seizure progresses. The entire seizure may last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, often followed by a period wherein the patient will remain unconscious. When the patient wakes up, he or she may feel disoriented, confused and may return to a prolonged period of sleep. An episode of tonic-clonic seizure may also be followed by a condition called Todd's paralysis, which is a prolonged period of weakness.
Tonic-clonic seizure may be primary or secondary. In secondary generalized tonic-clonic seizure, otherwise called grand mal, abnormal discharges are localized in one area of the brain on side, resulting in a type called complex partial, seizure which is often considered an aura. The abnormal electrical impulses quickly spread to the other side of the brain, often ending up with transient total brain malfunction, causing the symptoms mentioned above. Meanwhile, primary tonic-clonic seizure is differentiated from the secondary variant by the lack of aura.
Absence – Otherwise called as petit mal, this condition only involves the loss of consciousness without the motor symptoms (such as violent jerking of the entire body, drooling or frothing of the mouth and loss of bladder control). Typically, the patient exhibits no aura, enters straight to a state of loss of consciousness that lasts anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, which may manifest like being involved with the environment for a period then suddenly loses all signs of activity, and then continue with the ongoing activity. Anyone undergoing absence has no memory of the event.
A less common type of absence seizure is the atypical absence seizure wherein the patient exhibits more pronounced abnormal movements and retains memories of their seizures.
Atonic seizure – Usually accruing in children, this type is associated with complete loss of consciousness and muscle tone.
Tonic seizure – This type normally occurs during sleep and may cause the muscles to stiffen for 10 to 15 seconds with or without loss of consciousness. For more severe cases of tonic seizures, jerky movements may be exhibited as the seizure ends.
Myoclonic seizure – Often causing quick jerks of the trunk and one or most of the limbs, this type is often transient and not characterized by the loss of consciousness, but may occur repetitively.
Other Seizure Treatments and Your Life Articles
The First Seizure
Understanding The Stages Of A Seizure
Partial Seizures And Their Signs And Symptoms
Symptoms Of Seizure
Seizure And Its Long-Term Effects
Absence Seizures – A Different Kind Of Seizure
Complications Of Seizure
Types And Symptoms Of Partial Seizures
Seizures In Children
On-Going Treatment For Seizure
Seizures: What Causes Them?
What Are The Two Main Types Of Seizures?
Seizures – The Basics
Known Causes Of Seizures
Different Types Of Seizure
Seizure Disorder Treatment Options
Understanding Tonic-Clonic Seizure
The Most Common Causes of Seizures
How To Diagnose And Treat Seizures
Special Types Of Seizures
Generalized Seizures – Types And Symptoms
Signs And Symptoms Of Seizures
What You Need To Know About Seizures In children
Treatments And Medications For Epileptic Seizures
Drug Therapy For Seizure Disorder – First Line Aids For Seziure