Home / Epileptic Seizures – All You Need to Know

Epileptic Seizures – All You Need to Know

Epileptic Seizures – All You Need to Know

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system, causing disruptions in brain activity. This abnormal electrical activity leads to seizures, which manifest as moments of unusual behavior, sensations, loss of awareness, or muscle control. It’s important to note that while seizures are a hallmark of epilepsy, experiencing a single seizure does not necessarily mean a person has epilepsy. Non-epileptic seizures can result from factors like physical trauma, mental health issues, diabetes, or other metabolic conditions.

This blog will help you understand the different types of epileptic seizures along with their individual characteristics.

Symptoms of Epilepsy

The symptoms of epilepsy vary widely among individuals and are primarily determined by the type of seizure experienced. Typically, a person with epilepsy will have consistent seizure types with each episode, presenting similar symptoms each time. Common signs and symptoms of an epileptic seizure include:

  • Stiff muscles
  • Staring spells
  • Uncontrollable jerking of arms and legs (convulsions)
  • Loss of consciousness or awareness
  • Temporary confusion
  • Psychological symptoms such as fear, anxiety, or a sense of déjà vu

Types of Epileptic Seizures

Epileptic seizures are broadly categorized into two main types: focal seizures and generalized seizures. Each type has several subtypes, leading to a diverse range of seizure experiences. Let’s take a closer look at each.

Focal Seizures

Focal seizures, also known as partial seizures, originate from abnormal activity in a specific part of the brain. Individuals with focal seizures are diagnosed with focal epilepsy. These seizures can feel like a sudden dip in the stomach, similar to the sensation on a roller coaster. The two types of focal seizures are:

Focal Seizures with Impaired Awareness: These seizures involve a loss or alteration of consciousness. The person may stare into space and perform repetitive movements such as chewing, swallowing, or hand rubbing. These seizures are also known as complex partial seizures.

Focal Seizures Without Loss of Consciousness: During these seizures, the person remains conscious but may experience changes in emotions or perceptions. Sensory distortions, such as seeing flashing lights or feeling tingling, are common. These seizures can cause involuntary jerking of limbs. These seizures are also known as simple partial seizures.

Generalized Seizures

Generalized seizures involve abnormal activity on both sides of the brain and are diagnosed as generalized epilepsy. This type typically begins in childhood but can also affect adults. There are six types of generalized seizures:

  • Tonic Seizures: Characterized by muscle stiffness and potential loss of consciousness.
  • Atonic Seizures: These involve a sudden loss of muscle control, which can cause the person to collapse.
  • Absence Seizures: Also known as petit mal seizures, these brief episodes cause staring into space, often accompanied by blinking or lip-smacking. They are common in children.
  • Myoclonic Seizures: These involve sudden, brief jerking or twitching of the arms or legs.
  • Clonic Seizures: Characterized by repeated, rhythmic jerking movements, usually affecting the neck, face, or arms.
  • Tonic-Clonic Seizures: Known as the most serious type, these involve a sudden loss of consciousness, body stiffening, shaking, and jerking. They can lead to loss of bladder control and biting of the tongue.

Combined Epilepsy

In rare cases, individuals can experience both focal and generalized seizures, a condition known as combined epilepsy. This type of epilepsy is often caused by a mutation in the SCN1A gene and includes a mixture of symptoms from both focal and generalized seizures.

Unknown Epilepsy

When the exact cause of recurrent seizures cannot be determined, the condition is referred to as unknown epilepsy. Often, these patients experience tonic-clonic seizures and a mix of motor and non-motor symptoms such as:

  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Respiratory issues
  • Rhythmic jerking or convulsions
  • Stillness or staring into space
  • Sudden stopping in movement

Epilepsy in Childhood

Childhood-onset epilepsy is more common than often recognized. Many children with epilepsy outgrow the condition by their teenage years. Diagnosis in children can be made after a single seizure, depending on its cause and the child’s overall health. Treatment typically involves medication, tailored to the child’s age, seizure type, and health status. While some children may need lifelong treatment, many can lead a quality life with the right and timely interventions.

Treatment Options

Treat epilepsy at Plexus 

Plexus offers custom treatment plans based on your unique condition, age, frequency of seizures, as well as other health factors and comorbidities. Our aim is to facilitate overall improvement by making structured routines a part of the patient’s daily life. This can go a long way in helping them better manage their condition.

We have been able to effectively control seizures with the correct use of anti-epileptic drugs. However, in some cases, drugs do not help as much as we would like them to. Sometimes seizures still occur or some patients cannot tolerate some drugs. And this is why we offer other kinds of therapy for patients who are unable to benefit from medications and conventional treatments.

At the Plexus Epilepsy Clinic, we help you to – 

  • Minimize your need for anti-seizure medications
  • Significantly improve your quality of life
  • Reduce associated costs of living with Epilepsy
  • Lower risk of complications and emergencies associated with seizures
  • Increase your chances of returning to work

Stem cell therapy for Epileptic Seizure

Stem cell therapy for epilepsy aims to reduce seizures by introducing into the patient’s body a specific group of neurons with inhibitory functions. The regenerative treatment also aims to lower the frequency or even the occurrence of seizures, as well as restore any behavioral deficits caused by the condition.

Plexus Neuro and Stem Cell Research Centre is India’s first ISO-certified stem cell research centre. Founded by Dr Na’eem Sadiq, Plexus offers a holistic regenerative rehabilitation program for epilepsy.  We use autologous stem cells taken from the patient’s own body. The procedure is conducted by Dr. Sadiq, India’s no. 1 stem cell specialist, and his team of highly-skilled and experienced stem cell specialists.

By using the self-renewal, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, signaling, and differentiating characteristics of stem cells, stem cell therapy can make a significant difference in the lives of people with epilepsy.

To know more about Plexus’ Epilepsy Clinic, reach out to us today.

WhatsApp +91 89048 42087

Call +91 78159 64668 (Hyderabad) | +91 82299 99888 (Bangalore)


What is the most serious type of epilepsy?

Tonic-clonic seizures are the most serious type, characterized by sudden loss of consciousness, stiffening, shaking, and jerking. They can lead to loss of bladder control and biting of the tongue.

What organs are affected by epilepsy?

Epilepsy affects the brain, either in a specific area (focal epilepsy) or across both hemispheres (generalized epilepsy).

Does MRI show epilepsy?

An MRI alone cannot confirm epilepsy but helps identify structural abnormalities that may cause seizures. Additional tests like EEGs are necessary for a definitive diagnosis.

What should epileptics avoid?

Epileptic patients should avoid triggers such as stress, skipping medication, alcohol, lack of sleep, and certain foods. Identifying and managing personal triggers is crucial for seizure control.

Which fruit is good for epilepsy?

Fruits rich in antioxidants, such as berries, cherries, and tomatoes, are beneficial for epilepsy patients. A diet high in antioxidants can support overall brain health.

What are the five most common seizures

The five most common types of seizures are:

  • Focal Seizures: Originate in one area of the brain, causing localized symptoms such as jerking of one limb.
  • Tonic-Clonic (Grand Mal) Seizures: These involve a sudden loss of consciousness followed by muscle stiffening and rhythmic jerking.
  • Absence (Petit Mal) Seizures: Brief episodes of staring into space, primarily affecting children.
  • Myoclonic Seizures: Sudden, brief jerks or twitches of the arms or legs.
  • Atonic Seizures: Sudden loss of muscle tone, causing the person to collapse.

What is the most common type of epilepsy?

The most common type of epilepsy is Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE). It originates in the temporal lobes of the brain and often involves complex partial seizures. TLE impacts consciousness and causes symptoms like aura, automatisms, and altered awareness. It is frequently associated with structural brain abnormalities.

Read all about temporal lobe epilepsy here.

What is the difference between seizure and epilepsy?

A seizure is a single episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain, resulting in changes in behavior, sensations, or consciousness. 

Epilepsy, on the other hand, is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures. Simply put, a person can have a seizure without having epilepsy. But epilepsy involves a long-term pattern of repeated seizures.

WhatsApp chat
Check your eligibility for treatment here
Translate »