Seizures Treatment Plan
Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain where the brain cells release electrical signals all at once. For approximately 7% to 10% of people in the US, a seizure occurs only once in a lifetime. Others have seizures recurrently, which is then diagnosed as epilepsy. Seizures are disorienting and can be quite extremely disruptive to a person’s life. If you have suffered a single seizure or suspect you may have epilepsy, Foothills Neurology has helped many patients understand their seizures as well as find successful seizure treatment.
Seizures are categorized in two ways: generalized seizures and focal seizures.
Generalized seizures are are broken down into six categories. They take place in a large majority of the brain and typically occur without warning. The six categories of generalized seizures are:
- Tonic Clonic – This seizure is also known as a grand mal seizure. It is characterized by the loss of consciousness and collapse. First the body becomes stiff, during the “tonic” phase, followed by muscle contraction and jerking in the “clonic” phase. After one to two minutes the person falls into a deep sleep.
- Absence – Absence seizures, also called a petit mal seizure, cause a person to lose awareness. They appear to be staring off without a focal point. These seizures tend to last from five to ten seconds and may occur multiple times a day.
- Myoclonic – This type of seizure is very short and are characterized by a quick jerk motion, as if just shocked by electricity. It can be a single muscle jerk or a full-body jerking and generally lasts one to two seconds.
- Clonic – Clonic seizures cause a jerking of the arms and legs which can occur on one or both sides of the body.
- Tonic – Tonic seizures cause a stiffening of the muscles for up to 20 seconds. A person often falls if he or she has been standing when the tonic seizure comes on.
- Akinetic or Atonic – Also known as “drop attacks,” these seizures cause a sudden relaxation of muscles where they lose strength and cause a person to fall. The person does remain aware during this type of seizure.
Focal seizures are also called “partial seizures” and are caused by abnormal electrical activity in an isolated or more localized part of the brain. These seizures have three sub-categories:
- Simple Focal Seizure – Generally lasting less than a minute, an individual is aware during this type of seizure. He or she experiences loss of speech or the ability to move. Stiffening or jerking may occur throughout the body. A person may experience strong emotions, sounds, or smells.
- Complex Focal Seizure – This type of seizure often begins with a blank stare and moves to a semi-aware, dreamlike state. Confused, involuntary moments, such as chewing, fidgeting, or walking may occur. The typical length of these seizures is between 30 seconds to a minute.
- Secondarily Generalized Seizure – This is a seizure that starts as a focal seizure and spreads to a wider area of the brain to become a generalized seizure. A person may start out aware, but will lose consciousness and develop convulsions.
Seizure treatment varies depending on the frequency and type of seizures a person has. There is testing available, such as MRI, EEG, and CAT scans which help evaluate the activity in an individual’s brain, helping to narrow down the diagnosis and assist in creating a seizure treatment plan.
Foothills Neurology has a Seizure Center of Excellence with the most current technology for understanding and treating seizures and epilepsy. Our experienced neurologists specializing in seizure disorders stay current in research and developments for treatment. We put together a team of the best minds to create an individualized seizures treatment plan for each of our patients.
There are many types of seizures treatment, including dietary restrictions, medications, and even understanding possible triggers. Our goal is to help manage and reduce the impact epilepsy and seizure disorders have for our patients.
Contact us today for your seizure treatment let us help you get your life back.