Seizures are sudden and unplanned problems caused in the brain. If you experience seizures very often, then it is a symptom of Epilepsy. Epilepsy is the next stage of seizure disorder caused in the brain. People with two or more seizures are diagnosed with Epilepsy.
A person diagnosed with epilepsy may have more than one type of seizures.
There are two different types of seizures. The size of the seizures depends on the type of seizure.
It is very difficult to predict the existence of seizures in the human body. Some seizures may cause a person to fall, shake, and become unaware of what’s going on around them.
This blog is about understanding different types of seizures and their signs and symptoms so you can tell when someone is having a seizure.
Major types of seizures
Seizures are generally classified into two types.
- Generalized seizures
- Focal seizures
Generalized seizures damage both sides of the brain. These seizures are caused due to widespread uncertain electrical pulses present in the brain. Generalized seizures are classified into two types:
- Absence seizures – These types of seizures are also called Petitmal seizures, which can cause persistent blinking of eyes for a few seconds.
- Tonic-clonic seizures – These types of seizures are also called grand-mall seizures. This can make a person cry out, lose consciousness, sudden fall to the ground, create muscle spasm.
- Febrile seizures – These types of seizures are caused in children who are exposed to severe fever during infection.
- Infantile seizures – This seizure does not occur after the age of 4.
A person may experience fatigue and extreme tiredness after the implications of Tonic-clonic seizures.
Focal seizures are present in any one area of the brain. Focal seizures are also referred to as partial seizures. This type of seizures are classified into three types :
- Simple focal seizures – This seizure affects only a small part of the brain. These seizures are responsible for the cause of twitching or difference in sensation, such as a weird taste or smell.
- Complex focal seizures – This seizure makes a person with epilepsy baffled or bewildered. The person will be unable to respond to questions or directions for some time.
- Secondary generalized seizures – This seizure initially develops in one part of the brain and then expands to other sides of the brain. We can also say a person with has a focal seizure may encounter generalized seizure in the future.
Stages of seizures
Seizures comprise four stages. They are:
- Aura (beginning stage)
- Prodrome (Second stage)
- Ictal (middle stage)
- Post-Ictal (End stage)
Symptoms of seizures
Seizure’s symptoms may differ based on their types. Following are the common symptoms of seizure:
- Uncontrollable movements in legs and arms
- loosening of limbs or muscles
- Frequent staring
- Abrupt emotional states like the feeling of Euphoria
- Involuntary movements of tongue and mouth
- Rapid blinking
- Falling to the ground
Causes of seizures
Seizures occur all of a sudden with no warning. Certain conditions may trigger seizures without our knowledge. Some of them are:
- Brain tumor
- Low blood sugar
- Head injury
- A brain infection called Meningitis
- High fever
- Usage of Narcotics drugs
Diagnosis of seizures
Your doctor will examine the conditions of the Seizures and perform a neurological exam. This examination will be all about testing your emotional state and mental power. The doctor may also conduct any of the following tests.
- Spinal tap test or blood test to check for infection
- Electroencephalography (EEG) – This test is conducted by placing electrodes to your brain
- Other scans like MRI, CT, and PET to figure out the solution.
Common treatments for seizures
If you face the problem of seizures for long time, your doctor will suggest the following treatments:
Anti-seizure medications may cause some dreadful side effects. You can take this medication after your doctor’s prescription by knowing the risk factors.
If your seizures occur in the same part of your brain, then it becomes easy for neurosurgeons to remove only that particular portion of the brain.
- Vagus Nerve Stimulation
The Vagus nerve is the longest nerve present in the skull. A medical device is inserted under the skin of your chest which sends electrical signals to your brain and limit seizures.
- Responsive nerve stimulation
A device directly been implanted into the brain spots and then stops seizures.
- Deep brain stimulation technique
Surgeons insert devices into certain brain areas to implant a pacemaker-like machine in your chest. It can send electric signals to affected regions to prevent seizure activity.
Seizures are unanticipated shocks caused in the brain due to sudden electric changes. We cannot predict the inception of seizures before. But we can prevent seizures by living a healthy and stress-less life.