What are the Different Type of Seizures?

Before discuss this topic first of all discuss what a seizure is?

Seizure – It is a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain for short time span in a person and cause changes in the movements or feelings, behavior and levels of consciousness. If a person is suffered with two or more seizures then it is called epilepsy.

The signs of this problem are loss of control and violent shaking. A mild seizure is also a symptom of this problem. Seizure may occur after a stroke, an injury in head or an infection such as meningitis or another problem or illness and sometimes the cause of this problem is unknown.

Most of the seizures disorders can be controlled with medications but still have a significant negative effect on the daily life of a person. There is good news for the patients who suffered with this problem is it can work with health care professional to control seizure and side-effects of medications.

Symptoms of seizures – There are several seizure symptoms which depend upon the types of seizure are as given below –

  1. Loss of consciousness or awareness
  2. There is an uncontrollable jerking movement of the arms and legs.
  3. Temporary confusion
  4. Emotional or cognitive symptoms, such as anxiety or fear.
  5. A staring spell

Generally doctors categorize seizures as either local or generalized which is based on how and where abnormal activity in brain begins. This problem can also be classified as an unknown beginning in which how the occurrence of seizure is not known.

What causes seizure – The main cause of seizure is that nerve cells (neurons) in the brain create, send and receive electrical impulses that allow nerve cells of the brain to communicate and when it disrupts these communication path that lead to a seizure.

Epilepsy is the most common cause of seizures. This does not happen in every case, a person who is suffered with seizure has epilepsy but sometimes seizure occur due to

  1. Lack of sleep
  2. Brain tumor
  3. High fever which is linked with an infection such as meningitis.
  4. Alcohol ignore when times of withdrawal or extreme intoxication.
  5. Head upset which causes an area of bleeding in the brain
  6. Low blood sodium (hypernatremia) that can occur with diuretic therapy
  7. Stroke
  8. Illegal or leisure drugs, such as cocaine or amphetamines
  9. Medications such as antidepressants, smoking cessation therapies and certain pain relievers which reduce the seizure threshold.

Types of seizures – There are two types of seizures

  1. Focal seizures – It is an abnormal electrical activity in the brain which can occur with or without loss of consciousness which is also known as partial seizure. This type of seizure can cause both emotional and physical effects and make feel, hear or see things which are not there. There is about 60 percent with this type of seizure in all over the world. The symptoms of this type of seizure with other neurological disorders such as mental illness, migraine and narcolepsy.
  2. Generalized seizures – It is that type of seizure in which seizure appear in all areas of the brain are known as generalized seizures. There are six type of generalized seizures which are discussed below
  • Myoclonic seizures – Generally this type of seizure occur as sudden brief twitches or jerks of the legs and arms. It may begin in the same part of the brain as compared to the atonic seizure and many people are suffered with both myoclonic and atonic seizures.
  • Atonic seizures – In this type of generalized seizure, it cause a loss of muscle control that may cause to suddenly fall down or collapse which is also called as drop seizures. It means if a person holding something, he may drop and if a person is standing, he may fall. Generally it occurs less than 15 seconds but some people feel more.  Due to the risk of falling people can require a helmet to protect their head during falling. Those people who are suffered with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome are more possibility to have this kind of seizure.
  • Absence seizures - This type of generalized seizure occur in children who are characterized by slight movements of body such as lip smacking or eye blinking which is previously called as petit mal. It also occurs in clusters which cause a brief loss of awareness.
  • Tonic seizure – In this type of generalized seizure cause stiffening of the muscles. Generally tonic seizure affect muscles in the arms, legs and back which may cause fall to the ground.
  • Clonic seizures – This type of generalized seizure are linked with rhythmic or repeated jerking muscle movements. Generally these seizures affect the arms and neck face.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures – This type of generalized seizure cause a body stiffening, abrupt loss of consciousness and shaking which is also called as grand mal seizures. Sometimes it also causes loss of bladder control or biting tongue.

Febrile seizure – It is that type of seizure in a child which is caused by a spike in the temperature of a body and also from an infection. This type of seizure occurs especially in young children with normal development without a history of neurologic symptoms. Normally this type of seizure are harmless and do not indicate a serious health problem.

Seizure treatment – The treatment of seizure is depending upon the cause of this problem. Thus treating the cause of the seizures, the patient may be able to prevent future seizures from occurring. The treatment of this problem is due to the following factors

  1. Surgery to prevent brain abnormalities
  2. Nerve stimulation
  3. Medications
  4. Regular treatment, person can decrease or prevent symptoms of seizure.
  5. A special diet is called as ketogenic diet

Seizure medications –  There are several medicines which are used for the treatment of seizures are as given below –

  • Valproic acid (Depakene)
  • Gabapentin (Gralise, Neurontin)
  • Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol, others)
  • Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek)
  • Zonisamide (Zonegran)
  • Oxcarbazepine (Oxtellar, Trileptal)
  • Topiramate (Topamax)

Precautions – There are several seizure precautions which are as given below –

  1. You should take showers instead of baths due to increase the risk of drowning in the bath tub during seizure.
  2. You should replace glass in windows, doors and other spaces with safety glass or plastic. This is because if you are suffered with seizure then increases the risk of fall through glass and cause severe injury.
  3. You should not use electrical appliances near water during seizure
  4. If you are suffered with seizure then use cautiously hot items that could burn you.
  5. You should wear a helmet during horse riding, biking, skiing, or any other activities otherwise you could fall and risk for serious injury.
  6. You should wear a medical alert bracelet during seizure. This is because if you fall in unfamiliar place then medical alert bracelet can help in emergency conditions and treat properly.
  7. If you are interested in swimming then you should swim with the help of lifeguard during seizure.