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Epilepsy Seizure Types

There are several different types of seizures, which can be categorized as either generalized or focal.

Generalized Seizures

Generalized seizures affect both sides of the brain. They cause a loss of consciousness and a postictal state (a period characterized by drowsiness, confusion, nausea, hypertension, headache, or migraine) after the seizure occurs. EEG of a myoclonic seizure
  • Generalized tonic-clonic seizures (also called grand mal seizures)
  • Tonic seizures
  • Clonic seizures
  • Myoclonic seizures
  • Absence seizures (also called petit mal seizures)
  • Atonic seizures (also called drop attacks)

Focal Seizures

Focal seizures take place when abnormal electrical brain function occurs in one or more areas of one side of the brain. Focal seizures may also be called partial seizures. With focal seizures, particularly with complex focal seizures,  the child may experience an aura before the seizure occurs. An aura is a strange feeling, either consisting of visual changes, hearing abnormalities, or changes in the sense of smell. EEG of complex-partial seizure - right side of the brain
  • Simple-partial seizures
  • Complex-partial seizures
  • Secondarily generalized seizures
Last Update
July 2, 2012
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Last Update
July 2, 2012