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What four categories of seizures are there for focal epilepsy?

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Focal epilepsy seizures come in four categories:

  • Focal aware seizures. If you know what's happening during the seizure, it's an aware seizure. These used to be called simple partial seizures.
  • Focal impaired awareness seizures. If you're confused or don't know what's happening during your seizure -- or don't remember it -- it's an impaired awareness seizure. These used to be called complex partial seizures."
  • Focal motor seizures. In this type of seizure, you'll move to some extent -- anything from twitching, to spasms, to rubbing hands, to walking around. Some types that you may hear your doctor talk about are atonic, clonic, epileptic spasms, myoclonic, and tonic.
  • Focal non-motor seizures. This type of seizure doesn't lead to twitches or other movements. Instead, it causes changes in how you feel or think. You might have intense emotions, strange feelings, or symptoms like a racing heart, goose bumps, or waves of heat or cold.

SOURCES:

Epilepsy Society: "What Is Epilepsy?"

UpToDate: "ILAE Classification of Seizures and Epilepsy."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Types of Epilepsy," "Seizures."

Epilepsy Foundation: "What Is a Seizure?" "2017 Revised Classification of Seizures," "Diagnosing Epilepsy," "Diagnosis 101: The Basics," "Types of Seizures," "Choosing a First Drug," "Surgery."

Massachusetts General Hospital: "Childhood Epilepsy: The Brain."

Epilepsia : "Operational classification of seizure types by the International League Against Epilepsy: Position Paper of the ILAE Commission for Classification and Terminology."

Reviewed by Christopher Melinosky on July 24, 2019

SOURCES:

Epilepsy Society: "What Is Epilepsy?"

UpToDate: "ILAE Classification of Seizures and Epilepsy."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Types of Epilepsy," "Seizures."

Epilepsy Foundation: "What Is a Seizure?" "2017 Revised Classification of Seizures," "Diagnosing Epilepsy," "Diagnosis 101: The Basics," "Types of Seizures," "Choosing a First Drug," "Surgery."

Massachusetts General Hospital: "Childhood Epilepsy: The Brain."

Epilepsia : "Operational classification of seizure types by the International League Against Epilepsy: Position Paper of the ILAE Commission for Classification and Terminology."

Reviewed by Christopher Melinosky on July 24, 2019

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What is generalized and focal epilepsy?

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