To begin, it is important to note that there are numerous types of seizures. It should also be stated that not everyone with epilepsy will experience the same type. In this post, I will be generally explaining the various kinds of seizures; however, for a full list please visit the reference page listed below.
The first type of seizure is called a focal onset aware seizure, formally known as simple partial seizure. This is when the electrical discharge of neurons is localized to a certain area of the brain. This normally occurs in the frontal or the temporal lobe. In addition, there is no loss of consciousness with these types of seizures. This person may be presenting with a jerking movement of a localized area in the face or hand, for example. They may also have numbness or weakness in these areas. They may be pale, sweaty, nauseous or flushed. Lastly, they can also have hallucinations, déjà-vu, or strange thoughts. It is best to consult with a doctor if you feel that you or someone you know seems to be presenting with the signs mentioned above.
The next seizure type is called a focal onset impaired awareness seizure, formally know as complex partial seizure. This is when the electrical discharge of neurons is localized to one hemisphere of the brain. Due to the fact that a large area of the brain is affected; loss of consciousness is seen with these types of seizures. This person may have an aura, which means that they experience a strange thought, smell, or see a light before they lose consciousness. They may also have what is called automatic behaviour. This includes picking at their clothes, chewing their lip or wandering, for example. Another sign to note in a person with a focal onset impaired awareness seizure is called a reactive automatism. In simple terms, this means that the person will repeat an action without being aware that they are doing so. They will also experience signs similar to a focal onset aware seizure, but the difference is that these individuals lose consciousness. They will also have a one to two minute post-ictal period, which is known as the recovery period after a seizure.
The third type of seizure is a tonic-clonic seizure. They are classified under generalized seizures and affect both hemispheres of the brain. Their description also includes causing sudden loss of consciousness without warning. There are five phases to a tonic-clonic seizure. The first being the aura; however, not everyone will experience one. The next phase is the loss of consciousness. Following, is the tonic phase. This is when the person will become rigid and all the muscles will contract. If this stage lasts too long, it puts the person at great risk due to leaving the individual without air. The fourth phase is the clonic phase and is when the body begins to jerk. This will slowly stop over time and lead into the final phase, which is the post-ictal or recovery period.
The fourth type of seizure is called absence seizures. They are classified under generalized seizures and affect both hemispheres of the brain. These seizures are normally caused by genetics and occur in children and adolescents. This person may be seen to be staring blankly for a period of ten to fifteen seconds, and in this period they will lose consciousness. They may also show eye blinking or head turning. This person will not present with any tonic-clonic activity and will not normally have any reactive automatisms.
Ultimately, this is a small list of the most common types of seizures. As mentioned above, the reference down below will provide you with a more extensive list on the various types of seizures that exist.
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