Seizures are temporary interruptions in awareness, movement or sensation, caused by abnormal activity in the brain.

Types of Seizures

Generalized seizures 

  • Occur when the "electrical storm" spreads to all regions of the brain 
  • Cause various changes in consciousness
    • Some individuals develop a blank stare
    • Others may go into tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures that result in complete loss of consciousness with convulsions. 
  • After the seizure, the person has no recollection of the event. He or she may seem dazed, tired, weak or confused.

Partial seizures 

  • Occur when there is a disturbance in just one part of the brain, affecting physical or mental activity controlled by that area 
  • Do not result in loss of consciousness 
  • May cause uncontrolled shaking of an arm, leg or other body part
  • Emotions may be altered. 
  • There may be changes in the way things look, smell, feel, taste or sound. 
  • There may be speech disturbances.

If You See Someone Having a Seizure 

  • Call for medical help immediately (911) 
  • Gently roll the person onto one side and put something under his/her head 
  • Loosen tight neckwear 
  • Don’t try to put your fingers or any object in the person’s mouth (the tongue cannot be swallowed during the seizure) 
  • Don’t try to restrain the person 
  • Look for a medic alert bracelet that states emergency contact and medications
  • After the seizure, roll the person gently on their side to allow for easier unobstructed breathing

Related Topic: Epilepsy