Signs and Symptoms of Epilepsy

Epileptic seizures can take a very wide variety of forms but are broadly divided into generalized and focal or partial seizures. Partial or focal seizures affect part or a whole limb and may or may not become generalized. If there is no alteration in consciousness it is known as simple partial or Jacksonian seizures and if consciousness is altered or lost it is known as complex partial seizures, commonly known as psychomotor or temporal lobe epilepsy. Generalised seizures affect the whole body and consciousness is lost. However, by far the most common is Generalised seizures (involving the whole brain) commonly known as “Grand Mal” or “Tonic Clonic” seizures or major seizures.

People with epilepsy experience more than one type of seizure. The two categories of seizures are called generalized and partial.

A) Generalized Seizures
Generalized seizures result from electrical impulses arising from the entire brain. They typically occur without warning. There are six types of generalized seizures. B) Partial Seizures
Partial seizures originate from activity in a smaller part of the brain. They are divided into simple and complex.The difference between simple and complex seizures is that during simple partial seizures, your child will retain awareness. During complex partial seizures, your child will lose awareness.
Although the symptoms listed below are not necessarily indicators of epilepsy, it is wise to consult a doctor if you or a member of your family experiences one or more of these symptoms: Seizures can be Generalized (‘Grand Mal’) or Partial (‘Petit Mal’ or ‘Absence’) or of a type that affects only a localized area of the brain (‘Partial seizures’). Generalized seizures manifest as episodes of involuntary twitching of the extremities, uncontrolled head movement, frothing at the mouth, rapid eye movement, usually followed by a period of unconsciousness. For a varying period of time after an epileptic seizure, the patient may be confused & unresponsive.

Seizures are partial when the abnormal electrical activity is limited to one part of the brain. Such partial seizures can cause periods of “Repetitive behavior” and altered consciousness. This is characterized by behavior, such as buttoning or unbuttoning a shirt. Such behavior, however, is unconscious, may be repetitive, and is usually not remembered.