Seizures occur as a result of excessive and abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Nerve cells fire electrical pulses up to four times the normal rate during a seizure. Seizures may result in a loss of consciousness, muscle spasms and convulsions, or they may go relatively unnoticed. Seizures can be reoccurring or isolated. Seizures usually come on suddenly and vary in duration and severity. Multiple seizures are often diagnosed as a disorder such as epilepsy.
Seizures are classified into two general categories and many subtypes based on the pattern of the attack. GeneraIized seizures involve both sides of the brain from the start of the attack-common subtypes being grand mal and petit mal. The second major seizure type is a partial, or focal, seizure and these being in a specific area of the brain and may be contained there or they may spread.
Seizures can impact people of all races, sexes, and age, however, they are most common in young children and older adults. Epilepsy is the 4th most common neurological condition – affecting approximately 65 million people worldwide.