A generalized seizure occurs when electrical activity on both sides of the brain is disturbed, leading to loss of body control and, often, consciousness. A generalized seizure may have a variety of symptoms.
Seizures are likely to last only a few seconds or minutes. If a seizure lasts longer than this, it is important to seek medical attention right away. The affected person will typically return to normal after it has taken place, but complications can arise, such as injury from collapsing or an inability to regain consciousness.
1. Absence Seizures
This is known as petit mal seizures. These are staring spells that start suddenly and might be mistaken for simple daydreaming. The individual may have an absence seizure for 15 seconds or less, typically not moving and just staring in one direction. The episode resolves on its own, and even though the person may not recall what happened during the seizure, their normal state of alertness returns right away afterward.
2. Atonic Seizures (Drop Attacks)
Drop attacks involves a sudden reduction in muscle tone which causes a person’s body to go limp, slump or collapse, possibly causing injury. This type of seizure characterizes certain epilepsy syndromes such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
3. Myoclonic Seizures
This is characterized by sudden body jolts or an increase in muscle tone as if the person had been jolted with electricity.
4. Tonic and Clonic Seizures
If a person is affected by symptoms consistent with a seizure, then it is recommended that they visit a medical professional. Several tests can be run to check whether a person may be epileptic.
A doctor will typically be unable to confirm a diagnosis of epilepsy until at least a second seizure has taken place. What appears to be a generalized seizure may sometimes be down to another, non-epileptic condition, such as a panic attack or Tourette’s syndrome
There are various types of medication are used to control seizures. These medications may include:
In certain cases, doctors may recommend stopping the use of anti-seizure medication, for instance, if several years have passed since a seizure has taken place.