Symptoms of Epilepsy in Children Weill Cornell Brain and Spine
The only symptom of epilepsy is the recurrence of seizures, but not all epileptic seizures are the same. Some seizures cause obvious physical movements or.
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Partial epilepsy (also known as focal epilepsy) causes local seizures that originate in a very specific part of the brain (the focus of the seizure), but these seizures can spread across the brain to become generalized seizures. Epileptic seizures can vary by the type of epilepsy causing them.
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Focal epilepsy causes two types of seizures:
Myoclonic seizures don’t cause loss of consciousness but do cause brief periods of jerking. These tonic seizures cause a loss of consciousness but don’t involve the jerking motion. Some seizures consist only of the tonic phase of a grand mal seizure. Repeated seizures can cause brain damage over time, and there is a risk of sudden death in patients with epilepsy. Although some seizures are mild, anyone with a seizure disorder should be treated to control them. Atonic seizures (also called drop seizures, akinetic seizures, or drop attacks) are characterized by a sudden loss of muscle tone that causes an individual to collapse. Medications can be effective in treating most cases of epilepsy, but surgery is the only known cure (see Surgery for Epilepsy in Children ).
Reviewed by: Jeffrey Greenfield, MD, PhD Last reviewed/last updated: January 2015.
Some people with undiagnosed epilepsy may not even realize that the strange sensations or emotions they’re experiencing are due to a seizure. Some seizures cause obvious physical movements or loss of consciousness, but in other cases a seizure might not be visible to a bystander – not even a health professional. The only symptom of epilepsy is the recurrence of seizures, but not all epileptic seizures are the same.
Generalized epilepsy can cause several different types of seizures.