When brain activity is abnormal When brain activity is abnormal

Seizure disorders consist of periodic electrical activity in the brain that leads to a different degrees of temporary brain dysfunction.

In order to identify their cause, doctors rely on the symptoms and images of the brain, blood tests and electroencephalographies (EEGs), which record the brain’s electrical activity. In some cases, medications usually help prevent crises.

The MedlinePlus webpage describes the following types of seizures:

  • Epileptic seizures: These types of seizures have no apparent trigger, they repeat and are referred to as “epilepsy” or “seizures.” While their origin is often unknown, they may be the result of different brain disorders such as structural abnormalities, strokes or tumors, in which case, these seizures are called symptomatic epilepsy.
  • Non-epileptic seizures: This type of seizure is caused by a reversible disorder or other condition that irritates the brain, such as an infection or reaction to a medication. In children, fevers can trigger a non-epileptic seizure called a febrile seizure.
  • Certain mental disorders: Certain mental disorders have symptoms that are similar to these episodes and are called non-epileptic psychogenic seizures.

People with seizure disorders are more likely to experience a crisis when they are subject to physical or emotional stress, are intoxicated, have not had enough sleep or have suddenly stopped using alcohol or sedatives. Avoiding these risk factors helps prevent episodes from occurring.

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