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All about epilepsy seizures types of epilepsy common types of epilepsy types of seizures causes of epilepsy causes of children epilepsy factors triggering epilepsy symptoms of epilepsy diagnosis of epilepsy treatments for epilepsy epilepsy medications epilepsy surgery vagus nerve stimulation epilepsy diet prevention of epilepsy epilepsy in children pregnancy and epilepsy difference between seizures and epilepsy grand mal seizure absence seizure (petit mal seizure) febrile seizure epileptic seizures status epilepticus causes of seizures

What types of epilepsy are there?

There are several types of epilepsy, each with different causes, symptoms and treatments. Epilepsy can be divided into two broad categories: idiopathic and symptomatic. Idiopathic epilepsy is thought to be caused by genetic factors, as opposed to brain damage. Symptomatic epilepsy is caused by physical defects in the brain. Based on the type of seizure

affecting the patient, idiopathic and symptomatic epilepsies can be further categorized.

Idiopathic generalized epilepsy

Idiopathic generalized epilepsy is a genetic and inherited group of disorders, so there is often, but not always, a family history of epilepsy. Idiopathic generalized epilepsy tends to appear during childhood or adolescence, although it may not be diagnosed until adulthood. In this type of epilepsy, there are no nervous system (brain or spinal cord) abnormalities other than the seizures. The brain is structurally normal. People with idiopathic generalized epilepsy have normal intelligence and the results of the neurological examination and brain scan are normal. The results of the electroencephalogram (EEG - a test which measures electrical impulses in the brain) may show epileptic discharges affecting the entire brain. The types of seizures affecting patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy may include myoclonic seizures, absence seizures, and generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Idiopathic generalized epilepsy is usually treated with medications and is a condition that may be outgrown, as is the case with childhood absence epilepsy.

Idiopathic partial epilepsies

Idiopathic partial epilepsy begins in childhood (between ages 5 and 8) and may have a family history. Also known as benign focal epilepsy of childhood, this is one of the mildest types of epilepsy. It is almost always outgrown by puberty and is never diagnosed in adults. Seizures tend to occur during sleep and are most often simple partial motor seizures that involve the face and secondarily generalized (grand mal) seizures. Learn more about these seizure types.

Symptomatic generalized epilepsy

Symptomatic generalized epilepsy is caused by widespread brain damage. Injury during birth is the most common cause of symptomatic generalized epilepsy. In addition to seizures, these patients often have other neurological problems, such as mental retardation or cerebral palsy. Specific, inherited brain diseases, such as adrenoleukodystrophy (ADL, which was featured in the movie "Lorenzo's Oil") or brain infections (such as meningitis and encephalitis) can also cause symptomatic generalized epilepsy. When the cause of symptomatic general epilepsy cannot be identified, the disorder may be referred to as cryptogenic epilepsy. These epilepsies include different subtypes -- the most typical is the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Multiple types of seizures (generalized tonic-clonic, tonic, myoclonic, tonic, atonic and absence seizures) are common in these patients and can be difficult to control. Learn more about these seizure types.

Symptomatic partial epilepsy

Symptomatic partial (or focal) epilepsy is the most common type of epilepsy that begins in adulthood. This type of epilepsy is caused by a localized abnormality of the brain, which can result from strokes, tumors, trauma, congenital (present at birth) brain abnormality, scarring or "sclerosis" of brain tissue, cysts or infections. Sometimes these brain abnormalities can be seen on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, but often they cannot be identified, despite repeated attempts, because they are microscopic.

More information on epilepsy (seizures)

What is epilepsy? - Epilepsy is a general term that includes various types of seizures. Epilepsy is characterized by unprovoked, recurring seizures that disrupt the nervous system.
What are seizures? - Seizures (or convulsions) are temporary alterations in brain functions due to abnormal electrical activity of a group of brain cells that present with apparent clinical symptoms and findings.
What types of seizures are there? - The two main categories of seizures include partial seizures and generalized seizures. A partial seizure can evolve to a generalized seizure.
What types of epilepsy are there? - There are several types of epilepsy. Epilepsy can be divided into two broad categories: idiopathic epilepsy and symptomatic epilepsy.
What're the common types of epilepsy? - The most common types of epilepsy are absence epilepsy, temporal lobe epilepsy, frontal lobe epilepsy, occipital lobe epilepsy, and parietal lobe epilepsy.
What causes epilepsy? - Epilepsy may be caused by a number of unrelated conditions, including damage resulting from high fever, stroke, toxicity, or electrolyte imbalances.
What causes children epilepsy? - There are many possible causes of epilepsy in children. Seizures in infants and children may be due to birth defects, difficulties during delivery, or poisoning.
What factors will trigger epilepsy? - The triggers of epilepsy include inadequate sleep, food allergies, alcohol and smoking, flashing lights, developmental anomalies, and brain tumours.
What're the symptoms of epilepsy? - There are many forms of epilepsy, each with its own characteristic symptoms. The basic symptom of epilepsy is a brief and abnormal phase of behavior.
How is epilepsy diagnosed? - Making an accurate diagnosis is vital in planning the correct treatment to control seizures. Taking a medical history can help rule out non-epilepsy conditions.
What're the treatments for epilepsy? - For most people with epilepsy, treatment can reduce or prevent seizures and allow many patients to remain free of seizures for the rest of their lives.
What epilepsy medications are available? - Epilepsy is often treated with medication, neurocybernetic prostheses. Medications available for the treatment of seizures include phenytoin, carbamazepine, divalproex.
What epilepsy surgeries are available? - Surgical techniques to remove injured brain tissue may be appropriate for many patients with epilepsy. The most common surgery for epilepsy is temporal lobectomy.
What is vagus nerve stimulation? - Vagus nerve stimulation is a recently developed form of seizure control which uses an implanted electrical device.
What epilepsy diet is suggested? - It is believe that a restricted caloric intake while on a balanced diet can lead to measurable seizure reduction among all age groups.
How to prevent epilepsy? - Effective actions for the prevention of epilepsy include adequate pre-natal and post-natal care, safe delivery, control of fever in children, control of parasitic diseases.
Epilepsy in children - Epilepsy is a common childhood disorder. The prospect of control by means of anti-epileptic drugs is good in most children with epilepsy.
Pregnancy and epilepsy - Women with epilepsy who become pregnant have a higher risk for complications than women who don't have epilepsy.
Difference between seizures and epilepsy - Seizures are a symptom of epilepsy. Epilepsy is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce a sudden burst of electrical energy.
What's a grand mal seizure? - A grand mal seizure is a seizure involving the entire body, usually characterized by muscle rigidity, violent rhythmic muscle contractions, and loss of consciousness.
What's absence seizure (petit mal seizure)? - Absence seizure e - also known as petit mal seizure - is a type of seizure that most often occurs in children.
What is a febrile seizure? - A febrile seizure is a convulsion in a child triggered by a fever. A febrile seizure may be as mild as the child's eyes rolling or limbs stiffening.
What are epileptic seizures? - An epileptic seizure, often referred to as a fit, occurs when there is an abnormal discharge of neurones in the brain.
What is status epilepticus? - Status epilepticus is a continuous seizure state. Status epilepticus is most often caused by not taking anticonvulsant medication as prescribed.
What causes seizures? - Seizures may be caused by many conditions, diseases, injuries, and other factors. Injuries that may cause seizures include choking, head injury.
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