Epilepsy and Its types

epilepEpilepsy is also called as seizures.Brain normally controls the body movements by sending small electrical signals through nerves to the muscles but when the brain sends out abnormal signals resulted in seizures or convulsions. Single seizure that does not  happen again is not epilepsy. Seizures vary from person to person. In some people  there is slight shaking of hand, while other people lose conciseness and there is violent shaking of the entire body. Sometime in some people there may be the symptoms of the seizures called as AURA before the seizure takes place. After the seizure the person does not remember the episode.

During seizure there is sudden and  abnormal high discharge of electrical activity among large number of nerve cells in the brain. Epilepsy is one of the most common disorders of CNS, occur 1 people out of every 100 people before the age of 25 . The word epilepsy is derived from Greek word which means “ATTACK” . During seizure , neuron may fire as many as 500 times a second ,much faster than normal. In some people seizure occurs occasionally but for others , it may happen up to hundred of times a day. Epilepsy is not contagious and is not caused by mental illness or mental retardation. Many people with epilepsy have normal or above- average intelligence .Sometimes seizures may cause brain damage if they are severe.


There are different types of seizures. It is mainly divided into two main forms–

Focal  and generalized epilepsy

focal seizure–

It is also called as Partial seizure and occur in just one part of brain. Seizure mainly describe the area of the brain in which it originate. In simple focal seizure person is conscious but experience sudden or unexplained feeling of joy, anger etc. . In complex focal seizure person looses consciousness and may display strange behavior like blinks, mouth movements, twitches etc. These seizures usually last for few seconds.

In some people, there may be stage of AURA an unusual sensation or warning of symptoms of epilepsy. Sometime focal seizures can be misdiagnosed  with migraine headaches which is also dream like state.

Generalized seizure–

This type of seizure occurs on both sides of brain and in this patient looses consciousness and muscle spasm, There are other types of generalized seizures like

PETIT-MAL generalized seizure–

In this type patient continuously starred into space and there is some jerky or twitching movements occur.

TONIC seizure–

In this type there is stiffening of muscles of body, mostly in back, legs or arms.

CLONIC seizures–

Clonic seizures can cause repeated and jerky movements of muscles on both sides.

MYO CLONIC  seizures–

In this there is twitching of upper body arms or legs.

 A TONIC seizures–

In this there is loss of normal muscle tone. The person may fall or drop his head.


This type is increased by flashing lights, bold, contrasting visual patterns.

ABDOMINAL epilepsy–

It commonly occurs in children. Seizure causes abdominal symptoms.

TEMPORAL LOBE seizure or Psycho motor-

There is change in mood, sensation, autonomic functions like heart rate and salivation.


Seizures mainly affects face and sometimes body.