Symptoms Of Seizure
Electricity is what the brain uses to communicate with the spinal cord and all the smaller units of the body as well as to coordinate everything that goes on in the human body. Although in most people, there is nothing to inhibit the normal electrical activities of the brain, in other people there are occasions when these are disrupted, leading to unusual electrical discharges in the brain which manifest as seizures.
Because the way these electrical discharges fire in the brain differ from one case to another, from one type of seizure to another, symptoms of seizure may vary extensively. The following are some symptoms that are commonly experienced by most patients.
Seizures have different stages. Patients commonly experience three stages aura, ictal period and post-ictal period. In some patients, a fourth stage occurs the prodrome period which may take place days or hours before the actual seizure occurs.
The early seizure warning symptoms called aura may manifest in several ways. Sensory or thoughts are often altered as a result of an impending change in how electrical messages behave in the brain. Such change causes sensations like déjà vu and jamais vu to surface. Other symptoms include change in the sense of smell, sound and taste, stomach feelings or the sense of feeling in the stomach commonly described as "butterflies in the stomach', tingling feeling in any area of the body, racing thoughts, and blurring of the vision or total visual loss.
Emotions such as fear and panic and often a pleasant feeling similar to the sense of affection are also reported by patients. Dizziness, lightheadedness, headache, nausea and numbness of some areas of the body may also be felt along with the aforementioned symptoms. In some types of seizure though, aura does not happen.
What differentiates one type of seizure from another are the actual symptoms of the seizure. Depending on the condition diagnosed, there may be a combination of symptoms that can be observed during the seizure.
The hallmark of partial seizures (simple partial, complex partial, and partial seizure with secondary generalization) is that symptoms are localized in one area. In the advance stage of simple and complex partial seizures, symptoms may begin in one area and spread throughout nearby parts of the body and eventually to the other side of the body. This makes sense because in seizures with secondary generalization, the electrical discharges in the brain originate from one particular location and later, as the seizure progresses, the discharges spread to other parts of the brain.
The symptoms of partial seizures include muscle rigidity, muscle spasm, muscle jerking., head turning, with unusual sensations often affecting hearing, sense of smell, vision and touch. Lip smacking, fidgeting, chewing, and other involuntary uncoordinated movements may be exhibited. Retention of consciousness is exclusive to simple partial seizures. All other types of partial seizures either have impairment of awareness or initial preservation of awareness and eventual loss of consciousness.
Generalized seizures, on the other hand, are characterized by such symptoms as unconsciousness or brief lapse in consciousness as in the case of absence seizure, sporadic and uncoordinated movements of different parts of the body, rigidity and stiffness of muscles, and loss of muscle tone. Each of these symptoms represent a particular type of seizure but may also be present in all types of seizures.
The final stage of seizure is not without symptoms. Prolonged loss of consciousness, resting, memory loss, confusion, depression, and weakness may be experienced depending on the type of seizure affecting the patient. It is also possible that after seizures, the patient will resume doing an on-going activity.
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