Learning Objectives – To Define Seizure And Type Of Seizures – Term Paper

The abnormal electrical discharges start in a localized area of the brain. The symptoms/signs are dependent on which part of the brain is affected. These discharges may remain localized, or they may spread to other parts of the brain.
The partial seizures are first divided into two groups, those where the consciousness is maintained, and where there is an impairment of the consciousness. Both these groups may develop into generalized seizures, then be forming a third group.
1.1. Simple Partial Seizures.
The patient does not lose consciousness and therefore is able to tell what happened, but the experience may be so strange that he may not be able to express himself properly. What happens is dependent on the location of the affected area.

1.2. Complex Partial Seizures.
Here the patient has impaired consciousness, there is no complete loss of consciousness, he is slightly aware of what is going on, but he cannot respond to anything, neither can he change his behavior during an attack. There is an aura, a strange feeling in the stomach rising up to the throat and head, or a sensation of light, smell, sound or taste. The seizure may occur with changes in perception, e.g., of time (time seems to pass too slowly or too fast), of light or sound or space. The surroundings may suddenly seem completely strange and different in scale (things seem larger or smaller than usual), or there is déjà vu (a sensation of things having happened before). These feelings can cause the patient a great deal of anxiety.

1.3. Partial Seizures Secondary Generalized.
Both the simple partial seizures and the complex partial seizures may become generalized tonic-clonic seizures.

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On the other hand, the seizure is generalized from the onset (i.e., primary generalized seizures), starting in both hemispheres of the brain simultaneously. It involves the entire brain, while partial seizures occur in just one part of the brain. The primary generalized seizures are characterized by a complete loss of consciousness and the absence of an aura. They come on suddenly and unexpectedly, and if the patients fall, they may injure themselves. The generalized seizures consist of six different seizure types, of which the primary generalized tonic-clonic seizure (GTCS) and absence seizures is the most common. Although less common, all seizure types can be seen in special epilepsy clinics.
2.1 Tonic-Clonic Seizures.
Previously known as grand mal seizures, tonic-clonic seizures are generalized. Sometimes a person with this type of epilepsy will experience an “aura,” or warning before the seizure begins. During the tonic phase, a person typically stiffens and falls to the ground unconscious. The clonic phase begins with strong, rhythmic shaking movements. Drooling and loss of bladder or bowel control may occur. The seizure normally stops after a minute or two.

2.2 Absence Seizures.
These seizures, also called petit mal, are more common in children and are sometimes mistaken for daydreaming. Like tonic-clonic seizures, they are generalized but are milder. People experiencing this type of seizure lose awareness of what is happening around them, but they rarely fall to the ground. Their eyes may roll back, they may stare, or their eyelids may flutter. Absence seizures typically start suddenly, last a few seconds, and then stop suddenly.

1. Madell, R. (2016, April 28). Seizures vs. Seizure Disorders. Retrieved May 08, 2017, from http://www.healthline.com/health/seizures-vs-seizure-disorders#overview1
2. Dekker, P., & M. (2002). Epilepsy . A manual for Medical and Clinical Officers In Africa, 1-133.