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Convulsion or seizures are caused by abnormal electrical discharges in the brain. In about seven out of ten cases the reason for seizure cannot be found. But low blood sugar, infection, head injury, accidental poisoning, or drug overdose may lead to the disease. Seizures may be caused by brain tumor and other brain related problems also. Sudden lack of oxygen to the brain can result in seizures. But if seizures recur, it may indicate epilepsy.

Seizures can be broadly classified into two types: Primary generalized seizures and partial seizures. Primary generalized seizures affect both sides of the brain whereas, partial seizure takes place in one limited area. Partial seizures are of two types- simple and complex partial seizures and generalized seizures are categorized as- absence seizures, myoclonic seizures, atonic seizures, tonic-clonic seizures.


Children are more susceptible to seizure. About 2 to 4% of children have febrile seizure before the age of 5. People over the age of 65 are also prone to the disease. Symptoms for generalized seizures are unconsciousness, convulsions, muscle stiffness, jerking movements, rigidity, etc. The most common generalized seizure is the grand-mal seizures where accidents like tongue biting and urinary incontinence might take place. In partial seizure memory disturbances, unusual sensation of vision, hearing, smell, taste or touch, involuntary but coordinated actions like lipsmacking, chewing, fidgeting, walking, are the symptoms.


Based on the seizure subtype medication is administered to the patient. A relatively constant level of medication is maintained to make the treatment effective. Drugs such as Phenobarbital, tegretol, mysoline, depakene are the older classical ones whereas the newer ones are gabitril, keppra, lamictal, zonegran. There are only minor differences among the various types of epilepsy but factors specific to patients such as, which side effect can be tolerated by the patient, medical history are taken into account when medication are prescribed. Although there are different types of epilepsy but medication can control 70% 0f the cases.


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