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What are generalized seizures?

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Generalized seizures involve your entire brain from the start. Common subtypes include:

  • Tonic-clonic (grand mal): This is the most common subtype. Your arms and legs get stiff, and you may stop breathing for a bit. Then your limbs will jerk around. Your head will move about, as well.
  • Absence seizures (petit mal): You lose awareness briefly when you have one of these. Children get them more often than adults. Typically, they last only a few seconds.
  • Febrile seizures: These are convulsions a child may have from a high fever caused by an infection. They can last a few minutes but are usually harmless.
  • Infantile spasms: These usually stop by age 4. The child's body gets stiff suddenly and his head goes forward. Many kids who have these get epilepsy later in life.

From: What Are Seizures? What Causes Them? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: 

American Academy of Neurology. 

Bazil, C. . Collins, 2002.  Living Well with Epilepsy and Other Seizure Disorders: An Expert explains What You Really Need to Know

Strafstrom, C. , November 2004.  Epilepsy Curriculum

Nadkarni, S. , June 2005.  Neurology

Bialer M. , September/October 2004. Epilepsy Research

Mayo Clinic: "Febrile seizure."

Epilepsy Foundation: "Focal Onset Aware Seizures (simple partial seizures), "Generalized Seizures," "Focal Onset Impaired Awareness Seizures (complex partial seizures)," "Infantile Spasms/West's Syndrome."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on March 06, 2019

SOURCES: 

American Academy of Neurology. 

Bazil, C. . Collins, 2002.  Living Well with Epilepsy and Other Seizure Disorders: An Expert explains What You Really Need to Know

Strafstrom, C. , November 2004.  Epilepsy Curriculum

Nadkarni, S. , June 2005.  Neurology

Bialer M. , September/October 2004. Epilepsy Research

Mayo Clinic: "Febrile seizure."

Epilepsy Foundation: "Focal Onset Aware Seizures (simple partial seizures), "Generalized Seizures," "Focal Onset Impaired Awareness Seizures (complex partial seizures)," "Infantile Spasms/West's Syndrome."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on March 06, 2019

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What are partial (focal) seizures?

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