Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes seizures. A person is said to have epilepsy if he experiences two or more seizures, a disorder in the electrical communication between neurons in the brain, separated by a period of 24 hours. The consequences of an epileptic seizure can vary from uncontrolled jerking movement to momentary loss of awareness. These can also vary in frequency, from several times in a day to only once in a year. Understanding epilepsy seizure symptoms is the first step in treating this disorder.
Types of epileptic seizures and their symptoms
Differentiating seizure types is important for causes, diagnosis, and treatment. Epilepsy seizure symptoms are broadly classified into two groups – focal seizures and generalized seizures.
Focal seizures are the ones which initially affect only one hemisphere of the brain. There are four lobes in each hemisphere of the brain. The seizure symptoms vary based on where the seizure has occurred. This is further divided into two categories:
Focal aware seizure – This affects only a small area of the brain and people experiencing this type of seizure remain conscious. The common symptoms include the following.
Generalized seizures – These are typically characterized by no apparent cause. Unlike focal seizures, it affects more or the whole part of the brain. This is further classified into the following types.
This type of seizure, also called convulsion, affects the entire brain and is most commonly associated with epilepsy. It is a combination of tonic and clonic seizures. Symptoms of the tonic phase are as follows:
The symptoms observed during the clonic phase are as follows:
This seizure involves very brief muscle contraction resulting in jerky movements. The typical symptoms are:
Epilepsy can be a result of a genetic or acquired cause. The best treatment for epilepsy depends on the diagnosis of seizure type. The treatment methods can range from consuming anti-epileptic medicines to herbal and dietary therapies, to involvement of equipment and surgeries. Not all cases of epilepsy are life long, and many people improve to the point that treatment may no longer be required. Finally, patients with this medical condition deserve the love and support of their families to manage this condition.