Seizures

Overview

A seizure is a surge of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This can cause severe noticeable symptoms like violent shaking or mild symptoms with no shaking at all. There are different types of seizures including non-epileptic seizures (resulting from injury), partial seizures (associated with epilepsy happening only on one side of the brain), and generalized seizures (associated with epilepsy affecting both sides of the brain).

Symptoms

Warning Symptoms before a seizure may include:

  1. Fear or anxiety
  2. Nausea
  3. Vertigo (feeling as if you are spinning or moving)
  4. Visual symptoms (such as flashing bright lights, spots, or wavy lines before the eyes)

Symptoms during and after a seizure may include:

  1. Brief blackout followed by a period of confusion (the person cannot remember for a short time)
  2. Changes in behavior, such as picking at one’s clothing
  3. Drooling or frothing at the mouth
  4. Eye movements
  5. Grunting and snorting
  6. Loss of bladder or bowel control
  7. Mood changes, such as sudden anger, unexplainable fear, panic, joy, or laughter
  8. Shaking of the entire body
  9. Sudden falling
  10. Tasting a bitter or metallic flavor
  11. Teeth clenching
  12. Temporary stop in breathing
  13. Uncontrollable muscle spasms with twitching and jerking limbs

 Treatments

Many medications are available to treat seizures, however surgery is an alternative for some whose seizures cannot be treated with medications. Surgery can be especially helpful to people who have seizures from structural brain problems (such as benign brain tumors, strokes or malformations of blood vessels).