Types of Seizures
Seizures

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

The types of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) include:

Tonic

Tonic
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

Atonic

Atonic
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

Tonic-clonic

Tonic-clonic
Begins with stiffening of the limbs (the tonic phase), followed by jerking of the limbs and face (the clonic phase).4

Atypical Absence

Atypical Absence
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

Myoclonic

Myoclonic
Sudden muscle jerks lasting for many seconds up to a minute. They usually happen the same way on both sides of the body.

Clonic

Clonic
A pattern of jerking movements.

Partial

Partial
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

References:
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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