Seizures occur when part(s) of the brain receives a burst of abnormal electrical signals that temporarily interrupts normal brain function. Anyone can be susceptible to suffer a seizure. Approximately one in 10 people will suffer a seizure at some point in his or her lifetime.
There are several variables that can cause a person to suffer seizure, including:
- Sleep deprivation
- Use of illicit drugs
- Head trauma
There are two broad categories of seizures, generalized and partial. Generalized seizures involve both sides of the brain, while partial, or focal, seizures occur when abnormal electrical brain function occurs in one or more areas of one side of the brain.
Some are more prone to seizures than others. Individuals who have a malformation in the brain, a tumor, a head injury, a stroke or a history of febrile seizures could be at a greater risk. However, seizures can occur in some individuals with no warning signs.
Seizures can vary in length and intensity. Some seizures can be subtle in the form of staring off in the distance for a few seconds, while others can be more noticeable and can include a twitch, convulsion or loss of consciousness. Some symptoms of a seizure are:
- Jerking movements of the arms and legs
- Stiffening of the body
- Loss of consciousness
- Breathing problems or breathing stops
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Falling suddenly for no apparent reason, especially when associated with loss of consciousness
- Periods of rapid eye blinking and staring
There are various options to treat seizures, including medication, vagus nerve stimulation or surgery.The UAMS Neurology Clinic is a world leader in treatment for patients who suffer seizures. To make an appointment, contact us at 501-686-5838.