What is a seizure?
A seizure is a sudden, abnormal episode of electrical activity in the brain that can change a person's physical activities or mental behavior. A seizure is a symptom of an underlying disorder. It is a sign that something in the brain is not working as it should.1
The causes of seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain formation or injury. This is sometimes the case with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), but often the cause is unknown.
Seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS)
Tonic and atonic seizures are among the most common types of seizures in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), although other seizure types may occur.2
Stiffening of muscles lasting from a few seconds up to a minute. Generally, muscles tighten, eyes roll back, and pupils dilate.3 Breathing may temporarily stop and heart rate can increase.3 Tonic seizures usually happen during sleep but a patient who is standing can be thrown to the ground (a "drop attack").2,3
Brief loss of muscle tone, causing falls (also known as "drop attacks" or "drop seizures").2 They're usually very brief, lasting only a few seconds.3
Begins with stiffening of the limbs (the tonic phase), followed by jerking of the limbs and face (the clonic phase).4
Staring spells lasting generally 5 to 30 seconds, with gradual onset and termination.2,3 May include staring, pauses in activity, and a lack of response.3
Sudden muscle jerks lasting for many seconds up to a minute. They usually happen the same way on both sides of the body.
A pattern of jerking movements.
Limited to a specific area of the brain; sometimes consciousness may be lost.
It is important to note that as patients reach adulthood, their seizure types may evolve.4
1 Epilepsy. Basics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. http://www.cdc.gov/epilepsy/basics/faqs.htm. Accessed May 1, 2013.
2 Arzimanoglou A, French J, Blume WT, et al. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome: a consensus approach on diagnosis, assessment, management, and trial methodology. Lancet Neurol. 2009;8:82-93.
3 Crumrine PK. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. J Child Neurol. 2002;17(suppl 1):S70-75.
4 Benbadis SR. Epileptic seizures and syndromes. Neurol Clin. 2001;19(2):251-270.
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Track seizures to help your doctor
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