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What I Learned From My First Reading Session about Seizures

  • More than 2 million people in the U.S. have had seizures and/or been diagnosed with epilepsy
  • The term seizure is a symptom
  • If a seizure is not epileptic, or if a diagnosis is uncertain, it should be described as paroxysmal
  • There are about 32 types of seizures
  • aprox. 50% of seizures never have an identified cause; the other 50% are usually due to underlying diseases or injury of the brain
  • Seizures limited to one portion of the brain are called partial seizures
  • Most seizures last from 30 seconds to 2 minutes

For a fairly common ‘symptom’ very little is known about seizures. Understanding seizures better could improve the lifestyle of thousands of people. Equally important, it could decrease the amount of fear in people who suffer a seizure and are unsure of why it happened, if it will happen again, or when it could happen. Tests to search for underlying causes can also be quite time consuming and expensive, often including an EEG, CT scan, and an MRI. Each test can be very important in indentifying problems, but the quality of the tests do not seem to meet the needs of epilepsy/seizure patients since only 50% of the time a cause is identified.

One Comment

  1. I have a 14 year old son who experienced a total body seizure last night. It happened around 11:30 pm. The morning of the event he possibly fainted in the bathroom. When I found him he was on his knees, complaining of being really hot, and not feeling well. He was also very pale. For a couple of days leading up to the event he had complained of the back of his head hurting. He has been diagnosed with migraines, but up to this first episode and never had a seizure. At the ER all tests that they did were negative (EKG, Cat Scan, blood work). We followed up with his doctor today and he is scheduled to see a neurologist this week. He is normally very healthy, and very athletic. Suffice it to say, it scared all of us half to death. Ideas? thanks.

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