Learn about seizure types, what causes seizures, what happens during A seizure that lasts longer than five minutes is a medical emergency. Epilepsy is a brain disorder that happens when certain nerve cells in your brain misfire. It causes seizures, which can affect your behavior or the. If you are looking for information in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation. Many people have seizures that last for less than 5 minutes.
And anything that results in a sudden lack of oxygen or reduced blood flow to the brain can cause a seizure. In some cases, a seizure's cause is never found. While they can be scary to watch, these seizures are usually brief and rarely cause any serious or long-term problems, unless the fever is related to a serious infection, such as meningitis.
Syncope SIN-ko-pee , or fainting, is not uncommon in older kids and teens. When it happens, kids might have a brief seizure or seizure-like spell. Most kids recover very quickly seconds to minutes and don't need specialized treatment.
First, make sure that your child is in a safe place where he or she can't get hurt. Place your child on the ground or floor in a safe area, preferably on his or her right side. Seizures are symptoms of a brain problem. They happen because of sudden, abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
When people think of seizures, they often think of convulsions in which a person's body shakes rapidly and uncontrollably. Not all seizures cause convulsions. There are many types of seizures and some have mild symptoms.
Seizures fall into two main groups. Focal seizures, also called partial seizures, happen in just one part of the brain. The infant usually has brief periods of movement of the neck, trunk, or legs that lasts for a few seconds.
Infants may have hundreds of these seizures a day. This can be a serious problem, and can have long-term complications. This type of seizure is associated with fever and is not epilepsy, although a fever may trigger a seizure in a child who has epilepsy.
These seizures are more commonly seen in children between 6 months and 5 years of age and there may be a family history of this type of seizure. Febrile seizures that last less than 15 minutes are called simple, and typically do not have long-term neurological effects. Seizures lasting more than 15 minutes are called complex and there may be long-term neurological changes in the child.
A child may experience one or many different types of seizures. While the exact cause of the seizure may not be known, the more common seizures are caused by the following:. The child may have varying degrees of symptoms depending on the type of seizure. The following are general symptoms of a seizure or warning signs that your child may be experiencing seizures.
Symptoms or warning signs may include:. Nodding the head rhythmically, when associated with loss of awareness or even loss of consciousness. During the seizure, the child's lips may become bluish and breathing may not be normal.
The movements are often followed by a period of sleep or disorientation. The symptoms of a seizure may resemble other problems or medical conditions. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis. The full extent of the seizure may not be completely understood immediately after onset of symptoms, but may be revealed with a comprehensive medical evaluation and diagnostic testing. The diagnosis of a seizure is made with a physical examination and diagnostic tests.
Seizures may be due to neurological problems and require further medical follow up. A procedure that records the brain's continuous, electrical activity by means of electrodes attached to the scalp.
Magnetic resonance imaging MRI. A diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays. Lumbar puncture spinal tap. A special needle is placed into the lower back, into the spinal canal.
This is the area around the spinal cord. The pressure in the spinal canal and brain can then be measured. A small amount of cerebral spinal fluid CSF can be removed and sent for testing to determine if there is an infection or other problems. CSF is the fluid that bathes your child's brain and spinal cord. The goal of seizure management is to control, stop, or decrease the frequency of the seizures without interfering with the child's normal growth and development. The major goals of seizure management include the following:.
There are many types of medications used to treat seizures and epilepsy. Medications are selected based on the type of seizure, age of the child, side effects, the cost of the medication, and the adherence with the use of the medication. Medications used at home are usually taken by mouth as capsules, tablets, sprinkles, or syrup , but some can be given rectally into the child's rectum.
If the child is in the hospital with seizures, medication by injection or intravenous IV may be used. It is important to give your child his or her medication on time and as prescribed by your child's doctor.
Different people use up the medication in their body differently, so adjustments schedule and dosage may need to be made for good control of seizures. All medications can have side effects, although some children may not experience side effects. Discuss your child's medication side effects with his or her doctor. While your child is taking medications, different tests may be done to monitor the effectiveness of the medication.
These tests may include the following:. Frequent blood draws testing is usually required to check the level of the medication in the body. Based on this level, the doctor may increase or decrease the dose of the medication to achieve the desired level.
This level is called the therapeutic level and is where the medication works most efficiently. Blood work may also be done to monitor the affects of medications on body organs.
These tests are performed to see how the child's body is responding to the medication. This test is done to monitor how the medication is helping the electrical problems in the brain. Certain children who are having problems with medications, or whose seizures are not being well-controlled, may be placed on a special diet called the ketogenic diet.
This type of diet is low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fat. The ketogenic diet is sometimes offered to those children who continue to have seizures while on seizure medication.
When the medications do not work, a ketogenic diet may be considered. No one knows exactly how the diet works, but some children do become seizure-free when put on the diet. However, the diet does not work for everyone. The ketogenic diet is very high in fat about 90 percent of the calories come from fat. Protein is given in amounts to help promote growth.
Types of Seizures
Types of Seizures. There are several different types of seizures. Most seizures can be categorized as either focal or generalized. Learn about the different types of seizures. Call if a seizure lasts more than 5 minutes or if the person gets injured during the seizure. Learn seizure first. A seizure lasts 5 minutes or longer. One seizure occurs right after another without the person regaining consciousness or coming to between seizures. Seizures.