Epilepsy Basics

 A seizure happens when there’s a sudden burst of activity in your brain. It’s like a temporary short-circuit of your brain’s electrical system.  Unprovoked seizures occur due to an abnormality or malformation in the brain.  The abnormality or malformation may be due to genetic factors or infection or injury to the brain.  Seizures can be divided into two main categories: generalized-onset or partial-onset.


Generalized-onset seizures start from the entire brain all at once. Generalized-onset seizure symptoms can include:

·         whole-body convulsions

·         whole-body jerks

·         staring spells

·         a period of confusion following the seizure


Partial-onset seizures start from one small part of the brain, and may or may not spread to the entire brain. Partial-onset seizure symptoms can include:

·         shaking/stiffening of one side of the body

·         confusion, inability to speak

·         staring spells

·         sensory disturbances

·         tongue biting, drooling or foaming at

·         the mouth

·         uncontrollable screaming


Seizures can be dangerous and life-threatening.  Anyone who has experienced more than one seizure is considered to have epilepsy.



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