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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Injuries and Wounds > Seizure: Symptoms & Signs
      Category : Health Centers > Brain and Nervous System


Alternate Names : Convulsion, Fit, Epilepsy

Seizure | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the signs and symptoms of the injury?

Signs and symptoms of seizures vary according to the type of seizure and the portion of the brain that is affected.

Absence seizures used to be called petit mal seizures. They generally have the following characteristics:

  • include small movements of the face or eyes
  • involve staring into space or dulling of consciousness
  • last from a few seconds to a minute
  • are most common in children
  • Tonic-clonic seizures were formerly called grand mal seizures. These seizures often have the following characteristics:

  • begin suddenly without warning
  • cause confusion or fatigue the rest of the day
  • include jerking of the arms and legs
  • include loss of bladder control
  • involve stiffening of the body
  • last 1 to 2 minutes, with consciousness returning up to 15 minutes later
  • Atonic seizures may have the following characteristics:

  • involve a loss of muscle tone so the person drops to the ground without warning
  • last a few seconds
  • person may or may not lose consciousness
  • Myoclonic seizures generally have the following characteristics:

  • involve quick muscle jerking
  • may be triggered by too much alcohol or not enough sleep
  • usually don't cause loss of consciousness
  • usually happen in the early morning
  • Clonic seizures may have the following characteristics:

  • cause loss of consciousness
  • involve muscle jerking
  • are most common in childhood
  • Simple partial seizures usually have the following characteristics:

  • consciousness not changed
  • last a few seconds
  • may continue on to a complex partial seizure or generalized tonic-clonic seizure
  • may involve body movements
  • things in the environment may look, sound, feel, or taste differently
  • Complex partial seizures may include the following characteristics:

  • automatic behaviors, such as lip smacking or hand rubbing
  • confusion after the seizure is over
  • loss of contact with the environment, even though the person is still conscious
  • loss of memory for events that occur during the seizure
  • may go on to a generalized tonic-clonic seizure

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    Seizure: Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors


    Seizure: Diagnosis & Tests

    Author: James Broomfield, MD
    Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
    Date Reviewed: 08/20/01

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