How to Understand the Causes of Seizures

Seizures develop because of unusual electrical activity in the brain that causes unexpected and abnormal nerve impulses. To understand the causes of seizures, you need to know that a number of causes can lead to seizure activity, depending on the area of the brain being affected.


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    Study the causes of seizures and understand that they are the result of abnormal brain function. No underlying cause for seizures can be found in about 70 percent of cases. Another 30 percent of seizures are found to be from underlying epilepsy.
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    Know that a seizure may develop as the result of a head injury or lack of oxygen. At the time a person suffers a stroke, for example, brain tissue surrounding the site of the brain bleed becomes abnormally excited. The same phenomenon develops when the person experiences a head injury.
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    Learn that small babies who develop a fever can experience a seizure. A temporary medical condition may lead to a seizure that happens only once. After the infant has received medical care and the condition has healed, he or she may not experience further seizure activity.
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    Understand that idiopathic seizures are a chronic condition with no known cause. The patient may have a family history of seizures, but may not, himself or herself, receive a diagnosis of epilepsy. Idiopathic seizures generally begin sometime between the ages of 5 and 20, but they can start at any time in the person's life.
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    Learn some common causes of seizures. These can include brain tumors or lesions, such as bleeding, Phenylketonuria (PKU), stroke, transient ischemic attack or traumatic brain injury. Other seizure causes include brain infections such as abscess, encephalitis, meningitis, AIDS or syphilis.
    • Add more causes of seizures to your list, including: suddenly stopping drinking alcohol after drinking heavily for a long period; the person stops taking some medications (morphine, barbiturates or sleeping pills) after taking them for a long period; illnesses that cause brain deterioration; use of illicit or recreational drugs.
    • Study more seizure causes: dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease; liver or kidney failure, congenital brain defects; low sodium in the blood; low blood sugar; brain injuries that take place during labor.
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    Consider epilepsy. This is a congenital condition passed from parents to children and it affects nerve cells inside the brain, causing seizures. Some of these seizures are small, or petit mal, and some are large seizures, called grand mal. The person diagnosed with epilepsy has the condition lifelong and is at risk of experiencing seizures at any time.
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    Learn what a seizure looks like. The person experiences a change in consciousness, meaning he or she won't remember what happened right before, during or right after a seizure. He or she may experience unexplainable emotions or taste a bitter flavor in his or her mouth.
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    Understand that additional symptoms can include changes in skin sensation; twitching of a limb; vision changes, or rarely, hallucinations; loss of muscle control and muscle tension or tightening, causing the head, legs, body and arms to twist or twitch.


  • Not all seizures are recognizable. The person may simply stare into space.

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Categories: Neurological Disorders