Epilepsy symptoms

Epilepsy is a disorder which is described with the help of a behavioral pattern which repeats itself every now and then, without a set time interval. These patterns are known as seizures and this condition branches out to include a number of categories. The most common epilepsy symptoms are generalized tonic seizures, auras, absence seizures and partial seizures. Studies and research has shown that those who have this disorder are able to lead normal lives because no symptoms can be found between seizures. Since epilepsy is a broad term, every kind comes attached with its own varied symptoms. However, regardless of the kind of seizures a patient has, fact remains that the main cause behind the occurrence of this condition is that brain cells present in the brain are unable to communicate properly with each other.

The brain is the center of all activity and controls the body. It is able to do so because the nerve cells communicate with each other and allow the body to work with the help of electrical signals that they send. When a person is epileptic, a certain group of nerve cells releases such signals that are too strong and ultimately overwhelm the brain. In addition to this, any electrical activity which is sudden in nature is the basic epilepsy symptom. The terms ‘convulsion’ and ‘epileptic seizure’ are used to describe this activity. The reasons behind these convulsions vary from person to person and the lifestyle they lead.

The first epilepsy symptom for many sufferers is an aura which can either be experienced right before or a few hours before the seizure begins. The person starts smelling certain odors that are unpleasant, starts hearing strange noises and sounds and complains about his vision getting distorted. When one has generalized seizures, the entire brain is affected. The bad news is that a partial seizure can develop into a generalized seizure which is further categorized into five categories: absence seizure, myoclonic seizures, tonic seizures, tonic-clonic seizures and atonic seizures.

Terms like “Little Sickness” and “petit mal” can also be used instead of “absence seizure”. Over the years, it has been discovered that those children who have this type of seizure often grow out of it once they reach adolescence. The main symptom of an absence seizure is unawareness- the person will stare at his surroundings with a blank expression. His head may jerk slightly and his arms might twitch as well. Children who suffer from this type of seizure are known to go through breath holding spells. Absence seizure mostly affects toddlers and usually the main cause is a minor injury and when the child has a seizure, his face becomes completely colorless.

Dramatic seizure is the main symptom of “grand mal” epilepsy and those who suffer from this type of disorder faint and are completely stiff for a few minutes after which their limbs jerk and twitch repeatedly. The shudders subside after some time and the individual will often fall asleep for a long time and wake up very confused. Syncope is another significant epilepsy symptom and the main causes are emotional stress, prolonged standing and unbearable pain.

While these categories of epilepsy are fairly common, other types such as temporal lobe and focal epilepsy exist as well. Those who suffer from focal epilepsy are known to experience severe twitching in one part of their body after which it spreads and targets every part and a generalized seizure occurs shortly after. On the other hand, those who experience temporal lobe epilepsy seizures will have symptoms like an aura which will subside fairly fast and the person’s behavior will change as quickly.

Last updated on Mar 12th, 2010 and filed under Neurological Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Response for “Epilepsy symptoms”

  1. Bill Harold says:

    Epilepsy is a very serious disease misunderstood by almost everyone other then those personally touched by it. This is a fantastic post, hopefully it will raise awareness.

    Great Job.


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