A seizure results when neurons, the cells in your brain, exhibit unrestrained electric activity causing abnormal movements and behavior. Symptoms of a seizure include:
- Involuntary Jerking Movements of the Arms & Legs
- Stiffening of the Muscles
- Loss of Consciousness
- Loss of Awareness
Seizures may occur in an individual after experiencing:
- A Stroke
- A Closed Head Injury
- Meningitis or other Illness
- A Reaction to Medication
Recurrent seizures are called epilepsy. Less than 1 in 10 people experience seizures classified as epilepsy. Some seizures happen due to psychiatric disorders and can be treated with psychotherapy and psychiatric medication. Seizures manifest differently and in fact there are various types of seizures. These types range in strength, from so mild they are almost undetectable to so severe they are life-threatening. Thanks to EEG monitoring, it is possible to notice seizures that might otherwise have gone undetected in patients in critical care.
These start in one area of the brain and can be simple or complex. Most focal seizures are brief, lasting a couple of minutes. The way a focal seizure manifests varies from person to person and depends on where the seizure originates in the brain. It is possible to experience focal seizures with or without losing consciousness.
This type of seizure involves all areas of the brain. There are 6 different types of generalized seizures:
- Absence – Staring into space or subtle body movements.
- Tonic – Muscle stiffening in the back, arms, and legs that can cause falling.
- Atonic – Drop seizures that cause a sudden collapse due to the loss of muscle control.
- Clonic – Jerking muscle movements of the neck, face, and arms.
- Myoclonic – Twitches of the arms and legs.
- Tonic-Clonic – The most dramatic, this causes sudden body stiffening and shaking accompanied by going unconscious and possibly tongue biting and the loss of bladder control.
Treatment for Seizures
You should always seek medical advice after experiencing a seizure. In some instances, seizures do not require treatment. When it is the result of a new medication, it might be necessary to halt that medication after talking with your doctor. It is important to determine the underlying cause for the seizure and then to develop a plan for treatment from there.
There are several options for anti-seizure medication, and it might take trying out a few to determine the best one to treat your seizures. Anti-seizure medications can cause mild side effects that include:
- Weight Gain
- Bone Density Loss
- Skin Rash
- Balance & Coordination Problems
- Difficulty Speaking
- Memory & Thinking Struggles
More concerning but rare side effects include:
- Severe Rash
- Inflammation of Organs
- Suicidal Thoughts
Always contact your doctor of you experience any of the above side effects.
When management is not achieved through anti-seizure medication and seizures are not caused by psychiatric disorders, surgery may be considered. This surgery will remove the part of the brain responsible for causing the seizure.
Deep Brain Stimulation & Neurostimulation
This minimally invasive surgical technique implants electrodes into specific areas of the brain that are then connected by a thin wire to a pacemaker-like device.
Schedule Your Appointment
Contact the compassionate staff at Desert Care Network. Our multidisciplinary medical team is dedicated to helping you determine the cause of seizure and to create a viable treatment plan.