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Epilepsy Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Epilepsy

  1. Epilepsy: Tonic Seizures - Topic Overview

    Tonic seizures are fairly uncommon. They occur mostly in people with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. This is a severe form of generalized epilepsy that begins in early childhood. (Children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome may also have atonic seizures.)When a tonic seizure occurs, the muscles in the body contract and the entire body stiffens. This occurs suddenly and without warning. And it often causes the person to fall down.People who have tonic or atonic seizures are likely to be injured when they fall. Children may have to wear helmets and restrict their activities to prevent serious injury.

  2. Epilepsy: Complex Partial Seizures - Topic Overview

    Complex partial seizures occur in children and adults with certain forms of epilepsy. They are the most common type of seizure in adults.An aura may occur at the beginning of a seizure. It may consist of a strange smell, taste, sound, or visual disturbance, an unexplained feeling of fear or anxiety, or a sense that everything seems strangely familiar, like it has all happened before (déjà vu), or strangely unfamiliar (jamais vu).The seizure changes the person's level of consciousness. The person may appear awake but cannot respond to anything or anyone around him or her. The person usually stares into space.The seizure may include involuntary movements called automatisms, such as lip-smacking, chewing, hand wringing, picking, and swallowing.The seizure lasts 30 seconds to 2 minutes.Most people who have complex partial seizures do not remember having them. After a seizure, the person will be confused or disoriented and may have a hard time speaking and swallowing for several

  3. Epilepsy: Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizures - Topic Overview

    Generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures are the easiest seizures to recognize. They happen most often in people with generalized epilepsy of unknown cause.A generalized tonic-clonic seizure begins with a sudden loss of consciousness. During the first 15 to 30 seconds of the seizure, the entire body stiffens as the muscles contract. The back and neck are arched. Sometimes the person may cry out as the vocal cords contract and air is released from the lungs. The person may turn blue because he or she isn't breathing. This is the tonic phase of the seizure.During the next 30 to 45 seconds, the muscles jerk (convulse) in a rhythmic pattern. This is the clonic phase of the seizure. While the muscles are jerking, the person may bite his or her tongue or lose bladder or bowel control.An entire seizure lasts 1 to 2 minutes. After the seizure, the person will be unresponsive at first but will gradually wake up in 10 to 30 minutes. The person may be sleepy, confused, or dazed. The person

  4. Epilepsy: Taking Your Medicines Properly

    You may be taking one or more medications to prevent seizures. To get the most benefit from them, you need to consistently take the right dose of the right medication at the right time. This can be difficult, but by following a few key tips, you can do it.Key pointsBecome informed about the medications you are taking. Learn their names, their purpose, and their expected side effects. Know how ...

  5. Epilepsy - Symptoms

    Seizures are the only visible symptom of epilepsy. There are different kinds of seizures, and symptoms of each type can affect people differently. Seizures can last from a few seconds to a few minutes.

  6. Tips for Parents of Children With Epilepsy - Topic Overview

    If your child has epilepsy,there are many ways to lower his or her risk of injury and avoid embarrassment sometimes caused by seizures: Use padded side rails and waterproof pads on cribs and beds. Use car seats and seat belts,and have your child wear a helmet when biking,skiing,or skating. Do not let your child swim alone. If you have a young child,do not leave him or her alone in the ...

  7. Epilepsy - Prevention

    Since the cause of epilepsy is often not clear, it is not possible to prevent it.Head injury, a common cause of epilepsy, may be preventable. Always wear your seat belt in the car and a helmet when riding a bike or motorcycle, skiing, skating, or horsebac

  8. Epilepsy Medicine Therapy Failure - Topic Overview

    Medicine therapy for epilepsy can fail for several reasons: You do not follow the treatment plan. You have to follow your therapy routine exactly as your doctor orders,to have the best chance of keeping seizures under control. Missing a dose here or there or taking doses too close together can upset the levels of the drug in your body and lead to seizures,severe side effects,and other health ...

  9. Hemispherectomy for Epilepsy - Topic Overview

    The left and right sides of the brain are called hemispheres. Hemispherectomy is the removal of one side of the brain. This procedure is sometimes done on children who have severe forms of epilepsy, such as Rasmussen syndrome and Sturge-Weber disease. These conditions badly damage one side of the brain, cause frequent seizures and problems with physical and mental development. And these conditions do not respond well to drug treatment.Hemispherectomy may completely prevent seizures and reverse delays in development that occur with some forms of epilepsy.The surgery always causes some loss of movement and sensation on one side of the body and sometimes causes partial loss of vision in half of the visual field of each eye. But most children with a large epileptic area on one side of the brain already have these problems before the surgery.

  10. Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome - Topic Overview

    Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a severe form of childhood epilepsy that causes frequent seizures. Several types of seizures are usually present at the same time, including atonic or tonic seizures. These seizures can cause injury.Lennox-Gastaut syndrome may be caused by a variety of brain injuries. Other problems, such as intellectual disability, delays in physical and intellectual growth, and other mental and physical disabilities, may also be present. The condition can be difficult to treat. Treatment with medicines, the ketogenic diet, or a type of brain surgery called corpus callosotomy may help control some of the seizures that occur with this syndrome. Most children will continue to have seizures throughout life.

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