What is a seizure?

A seizure is an abnormal movement caused by unusual or abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Seizures can cause unusual sensations, uncontrollable muscle spasm or loss of consciousness. Recurrent seizures could mean the patient has epilepsy. Not everyone who has seizures has epilepsy.

Types of Seizures:
  • Absence - (also called petit mal) Begin and end abruptly
  • Atonic - Cause a short, abrupt loss of muscle tone
  • Febrile - Common in children 5 years or younger with a fever that rapidly rises to 102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Infantile - Quick, sudden movements. Most common for children 2 months to 2 years
  • Myoclonic - Rapid, brief body muscle contractions
  • Tonic-clonic - (also called grand mal) Starts with arm and leg stiffening then followed by arm, leg and facial jerking.
Other words used for seizure:
  • Convulsion
  • Fit
  • Spell
Possible Seizure Causes:
  • Accidental poisoning
  • Anything that causes a sudden lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Drug overdose
  • Head injury
  • Low blood sugar

Additional Resources