Generalized Tonic Clonic Seizures:
These are also commonly referred to as Grand Mal or Convulsions and are the most noticeable kind. They occur when the whole brain is suddenly swamped with electrical energy. The seizure begins with a cry which is caused by air being suddenly forced out of the lungs. The person would fall to the ground, unconscious, the body stiffens and then starts to jerk.
Saliva may appear around the mouth, the persons tongue may be bitten, breathing gets very shallow and can even stop for a few minutes causing the skin to turn a bluish color. The jerking movements then slow down and the seizure ends after a minute or two. Bladder or bowel control is sometimes lost. When Consciousness returns the person who has had the seizure may fee confused and sleepy.
In some cases only a very short recovery period is required after which people can go back to their normal activities. If the seizure is prolonged, or the person is injured, medical attention is essential.
These are also referred to as petit mal and look like day dreaming or blank staring . They begin and end abruptly last only a few seconds and are most often seen in children. The child having this type of seizure is totally unaware of people and things that are around him for a few seconds but will quickly return to full awareness. These seizures happen so quick that the child and sometimes other people around him may not notice them. Sometimes these seizures produce blinking or chewing movements, turning of the head or waving of the arms.
Atonic Seizures: Are drop attacks that cause sudden falls, Myoclonic Seizures: produce massive muscle jerks, and Infantile Spasms: Are characterized by head drops or body spasms.
Simple Partial Seizures:
These seizures produce changes in a persons sensation, movement or feeling without alteration of consciousness. Sometimes the movements start in one area of the body and then slowly progress upwards to involve one whole side. The seizure may make things look strange or the person may or may not see things that are not there. They may hear strange noises or a feeling that what is happening around them has happened before. They may feel strange sensations on one side of the body or a rising feeling in the abdomen. These feelings will last several seconds up to a minute or more.
The cause of these disturbances which are frightening and can be very upsetting to those who do not know what is causing them is seizure activity taking place in parts of the brain that control movement, seeing, hearing, memory or feeling.
Complex Partial Seizures:
These are sometimes referred to as psychomotor or temporal lobe seizures affect awareness. A complex partial seizure makes a person appear to be in a trance and go through a series of movements over which they have no control. The kinds of movements will vary from individual to individual there may be a distinctive pattern of actions that each person follows every time a seizure happens.
A seizure of this type may start with a warning, called an aura which is actually the simple partial seizure that precedes impairment of consciousness: a strange sensation, a feeling of fear perhaps, or a sudden sick feeling in the stomach, or even seeing or hearing something that is not really there. The person stares blankly, and may make chewing movements with the mouth. He or she may move an arm, pull at clothing, get up and walk around, all the time looking dazed and out of touch with the environment. Although not completely aware of things and people around them a person having this kind of seizure may follow simple direction if they are given in a calm, friendly voice.
Sometimes these complex partial seizures produce more dramatic changes in behavior, including screaming, crying , moaning, laughing, disrobing,running, or apparent fear. Although most of these seizures last for only a minute or two, full awareness may not return for some time afterwards. Confusion and irritability may follow and the person will not remember what happened or what they did while the seizure was happening. Both simple or complex partial seizures may affect enough brain cells to spread and become a Generalized Tonic Clonic (Grand Mal) seizure. Doctors describe these as partial seizures secondarily generalized.