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What are seizures: causes and types

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Seizures are a symptom that usually causes excellent alarm due to their spectacular nature. However, you must be aware that not all seizures are due to severe problems and that not all seizures are as we imagine them. In reality, seizures are due to abnormal activity in the brain, where there is increased electrical activity. But why do seizures occur? What diseases or conditions can cause them? What types of seizures are there? In the following FastlyHealarticle we are going to answer all these questions.

What are seizures

Seizures are nothing more than the manifestation of some problem in the brain. Seizures occur as a result of sudden electrical activity in the brain. Usually, when we think of seizures, images of a person shaking rapidly, violently, and without self-control come to mind. The reality is that not all seizures are the same or cause the same jolts.

There are many types of seizures, some mild and barely noticeable symptoms, others generalized and very noticeable. Be that as it may, most episodes usually last between 30 seconds and 2 minutes without causing lasting damage. However, if they last more than 5 minutes, the person does not wake up, vomits, or has many seizures in a row; it is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Seizures: causes

In adults, in addition to epilepsy, they can also be caused by :

  • Epileptic attacks.
  • Brain tumors.
  • Injury or trauma to the head.
  • Cerebrovascular accidents
  • Psychological factors.
  • Infections such as meningitis.

Seizures do not usually last long, between 30 seconds and five minutes, and usually, they stop independently. However, precautions should be taken, especially in fainting or vomiting, so we should not leave the person who suffers them alone until they recover or receive medical attention.

Types of seizures in adults

When our brain undergoes an excess of electrical activity, this is usually reflected in the body in the form of seizures. We usually associate them with epilepsy attacks, which occur in those who suffer twitching and jerky movements and even fainting, but this is not the only cause of seizures or the only way in which this excess brain activity manifests itself. There are different types of seizures in adults; it is possible, for example, to have episodes without body movements but instead occur statically, and the person who suffers it stares for a few minutes.

The different types of seizures can be divided mainly into two significant types, although more specifically, there are more types:

Focal seizures

Focal seizures are when only a single area of ​​the brain is involved. These seizures, which are also known as partial or localized, usually have the following symptoms:

  • There is no alteration or loss of consciousness.
  • It presents subjective sensory phenomena.
  • It can develop into a bilateral seizure.

Generalized seizures

Generalized seizures are those in which both hemispheres of the brain are involved; in turn, within this category, different types of attacks are framed:

  • Tonic-Clonic Seizure: in this seizure, the body becomes rigid, the jaw is fixed, the legs, head, and neck are extended, and the arms are flexed. It’s the typical epilepsy seizure that we all have in mind.
  • Absence seizure – is sometimes confused with daydreaming and is common in children ages 3 to 15. What happens is that in a short period, you stare, eyes twinkling, and eyes roll.
  • Myoclonic seizures: they are jerks in a muscle or muscle group, which usually last a short time, no more than a few seconds.
  • Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy usually occurs at puberty, occurring shortly after waking up.
  • Progressive Myoclonic Epilepsy: a combination of myoclonic and tonic-clonic. These are usually tricky seizures to control and get worse over time.
  • Tonic Seizure – Muscles contract suddenly, and eyes may roll. Since the chest is tense, it may make it difficult to breathe.
  • Clonic Seizure: These are rare seizures in which the muscles spasm.
  • Atonic seizure: unlike many others, in this type of seizure, the muscles suddenly lose strength.

Seizures in children

Seizures can occur in newborns, mainly due to the great sensitivity of their central nervous system. The most common causes of attacks at this stage are:

  • Metabolic: low level of sugar, calcium, etc.
  • Brain damage.
  • Congenital brain malformations.
  • Infections

After six months, what is known as the sobbing spasm may appear, which occurs when the child cries out of frustration, anger, or fear, and which can lead to a loss of consciousness and seizures? To avoid this, it is necessary to know and treat the emotional factor that causes them. The attacks, which may already appear at this age, can also originate from them.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why seizures occur , we recommend that you enter our Brain and Nerves category .

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