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Seizures - Know The Common Types!

Dr. Devshi Visana 89% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Medicine, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Ahmedabad  •  10 years experience
Seizures - Know The Common Types!

When particular nerve cells in the brain don't function properly, it leads to epilepsy, which is a common brain disorder. There are several variants of epilepsy, and the one that you are suffering from would play a major role in the type of seizure you are likely to have. Here are the two most common type of seizures:

Common types of Seizures

  • Generalized seizures: This type of seizures take place when nerve cells on both sides of the brain start misfiring. They may lead to black out, fall or muscle spasms.
  • Focal seizures: It starts in a particular area of the brain, and the names of the seizure are based on the affected area of the brain. They may lead to both emotional and physical effects which may affect the way a person feels or sees or hear things that have no real presence. In particular cases, the symptoms of focal seizures are regarded of some other kinds of mental or nervous disorder.

Seizures are not considered an either-or thing since some people tend to have a particular type of seizure which gradually alters its course. It is not always easy to classify certain types of seizures which are called unknown-onset seizures and may lead to both physical and sensory symptoms. Both focal and generalized seizures can be categorized into various groups. The most common are listed below:

Subcategories of focal and generalized seizures

  • Simple focal seizures: It may change how the senses read the surroundings of a person. It can make a familiar taste or smell appear strange. Some people feel dizzy or visualize flashes of light or make the affected individual feel nauseated or sweaty.
  • Complex focal seizures: It normally happens when a part of the brain which controls emotion and memory gets affected. The affected person may feel awake even when he has lost consciousness. It can take several minutes for a person to come out of the problem.

Secondary generalized seizures: It starts when a part of the brain spreads to the nerve cells. They may lead to a few physical symptoms including muscle slackness and convulsions.
On the other hand, there are six variants of generalized seizures:

  • Clinic seizure: The muscles tend to have spasms which make a face, neck, and arms jerk rhythmically. It can last for minutes together.
  • Tonic-clonic seizure: These are the most notable type of seizures and leads to stiffening of the body, jerking and shaking along with the loss of consciousness. It can last between 1 to 3 minutes, and in case they go for a longer span, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. It may lead to breathing issues and may cause the person to bite his tongue or cheek.
  • Tonic seizures: When the muscled in the legs or arms or trunk tense up for more than 20 seconds, it is called a tonic seizure. If the affected person is in standing position, he or she may end up falling.

Other types of generalized seizure include atonic seizure, absence seizure and myoclonic seizure which are commonly seen in people who have epilepsy. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Neurologist.

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