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What causes seizures?

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A seizure happens because of faulty electrical activity in the brain. It can make you pass out and make your body shake uncontrollably. The cause is often unknown. Many things can bring them on, including:

  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Brain tumors
  • Head injuries
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Very low blood sugar
  • Repetitive sounds or flashing lights, as in video games
  • Some medications, like antipsychotics and some asthma drugs
  • Withdrawal from some medications, like Xanax, narcotics, or alcohol
  • Use of narcotics, such as cocaine and heroin
  • Brain infections, like meningitis

SOURCES: 

American Academy of Neurology. 

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

Strafstrom, C. Epilepsy Curriculum, November 2004. 

Nadkarni, S. Neurology, June 2005. 

Bialer M. Epilepsy Research, September/October 2004.

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 Arefa Cassoobhoy on July 16, 2020

SOURCES: 

American Academy of Neurology. 

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

Strafstrom, C. Epilepsy Curriculum, November 2004. 

Nadkarni, S. Neurology, June 2005. 

Bialer M. Epilepsy Research, September/October 2004.

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 Arefa Cassoobhoy on July 16, 2020

From: Seizure

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