Seizures

Posted by e-Medical PPT
An epileptic seizure, occasionally referred to as a fit, is defined as a transient symptom of "abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain".Seizure types are organized according to whether the source of the seizure within the brain is localized (partial or focal onset seizures) or distributed (generalized seizures). Partial seizures are further divided on the extent to which consciousness is affected (simple partial seizures and complex partial seizures). If consciousness is unaffected, then it is a simple partial seizure; otherwise it is a complex partial seizure. A partial seizure may spread within the brain—a process known as secondary generalization. Generalized seizures are divided according to the effect on the body, but all involve loss of consciousness. These include absence, myoclonic, clonic, tonic, tonic–clonic, and atonic seizures. The signs and symptoms of seizures vary depending on the type.Seizures may cause involuntary changes in body movement or function, sensation, awareness, or behavior. Seizures are often associated with a sudden and involuntary contraction of a group of muscles and loss of consciousness. However, a seizure can also be as subtle as a fleeting numbness of a part of the body, a brief or long term loss of memory, visual changes, sensing/discharging of an unpleasant odor, a strange epigastric sensation, or a sensation of fear and total state of confusion. A seizure can last from a few seconds to status epilepticus, a continuous group of seizures that is often life-threatening without immediate intervention. Therefore seizures are typically classified as motor, sensory, autonomic, emotional  or cognitive. After the active portion of a seizure, there is typically a period referred to as postictal before a normal level of consciousness returns.
In some cases, the full onset of a seizure event is preceded by some of the sensations described above, called vertiginous epilepsy. These sensations can serve as a warning to that a generalized tonic–clonic seizure is about to occur. These warning sensations are cumulatively called an aura and are due to a focal seizure.
It is important to distinguish primary epileptic seizures from secondary causes. Blood tests, lumbar puncture or toxicology screening can be helpful in specific circumstances suggestive of an underlying cause like alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal, meningitis or drug overdose, but there is insufficient evidence to support their routine use in the work-up of an adult with an apparently unprovoked first seizure.

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