Epilepsy: Epileptic Seizure Types and Information
Updated/Revised Date: 2022-04-12
Synopsis: Information on epilepsy, a chronic neurological disorder of the brain that causes a tendency to have recurrent seizures. Epilepsy is one of the most common of the serious neurological disorders. Genetic, congenital, and developmental conditions are mostly associated with it among younger patients; tumors are more likely over age 40; head trauma and central nervous system infections may occur at any age. Seizure types are organized firstly according to whether the source of the seizure within the brain is localized (partial or focal onset seizures) or distributed (generalized seizures).
Approximately 2 million people in the United States have epilepsy, a chronic disorder of the brain that causes a tendency to have recurrent seizures. Two or more seizures must occur before a person can receive the diagnosis of epilepsy, also known as a seizure disorder. The onset of epilepsy is most common during childhood and after age 65, but the condition can occur at any age.
Epilepsy is one of the most common of the serious neurological disorders. Genetic, congenital, and developmental conditions are mostly associated with it among younger patients; tumors are more likely over age 40; head trauma and central nervous system infections may occur at any age.
It's not uncommon for children to have a single seizure, and an estimated 5 percent to 10 percent of the population will experience a seizure at some time in their life. Seizures occur when there's a sudden change in the normal way your brain cells communicate through electrical signals.
Seizure types are organized firstly according to whether the source of the seizure within the brain is localized (partial or focal onset seizures) or distributed (generalized seizures). Partial seizures are further divided on the extent to which consciousness is affected.
Epilepsy Seizure Types
- Infantile spasms (West syndrome) - Associated with brain development abnormalities, tuberous sclerosis, and perinatal insults to the brain. It impacts infants, which by definition are between 30 days to 1 year of life.
- Childhood absence epilepsy - Affects children between the ages of 4 and 12 years of age. These patients have recurrent absence seizures that can occur hundreds of times a day.
- Dravet's syndrome - Severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI). This very rare syndrome is delimitated from benign myoclonic epilepsy by its severity and must be differentiated from the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Doose's myoclonic-astatic epilepsy.
- Benign focal epilepsies of childhood - The most common syndromes comprising the benign focal epilepsies of childhood include Benign Childhood Epilepsy with Centro-Temporal Spikes (or benign rolandic epilepsy), and Benign Childhood Epilepsy with Occipital Paroxysms.
- Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) - Begins in patients aged 8 to 20 years. These patients have normal IQ and are otherwise neurologically intact. JME is thought to be genetic, though that is not to imply that JME will show in immediate family members.
- Temporal lobe epilepsy - The most common epilepsy of adults. In most cases, the epileptogenic region is found in the mesial temporal structures (e.g., the hippocampus, amygdala, and parahippocampal gyrus). Seizures begin in late childhood and adolescence.
- Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) - Caused by prenatal alcohol exposure and results in central nervous system (CNS) damage.
- Frontal lobe epilepsy
- Lennox-Gastaut syndrome
- Occipital lobe epilepsy
During a seizure, some brain cells send abnormal signals, which stop other cells from working properly. This abnormality may cause temporary changes in sensation, behavior, movement, or consciousness.
How to Help a Person Having an Epileptic fit or Seizure
The response to a generalized tonic-clonic epileptic seizure is simply to prevent the patient from self-injury by moving him or her away from sharp edges, placing something soft beneath the head, and carefully rolling the person into the recovery position to avoid asphyxiation.
In some cases, the person may seem to start snoring loudly following a seizure, before coming to. This merely indicates that the person is beginning to breathe properly and does not mean he or she is suffocating.
Should the person regurgitate, the material should be allowed to drip out the side of the person's mouth by itself.
If a seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, or if the seizures begin coming in 'waves' one after the other - then Emergency Services should be contacted immediately.
Examples of provocants include reading, hot water on the head, hyperventilation, and flashing or flickering lights.
Treatments may be able to leave you free of seizures, or at least reduce their frequency and intensity.
Subtopics and Associated Subjects
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Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2022, April 12). Epilepsy: Epileptic Seizure Types and Information. Disabled World. Retrieved June 28, 2022 from www.disabled-world.com/health/neurology/epilepsy/
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