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THE KINDS OF SEIZURE: THE NEW SYSTEM – “PARTIAL” AND “GENERALIZED” SEIZURES

March 24th, 2011 Posted in Epilepsy | No Comments »

An internationally accepted system of classification of seizures was adopted in 1981. This new classification separates seizures into “partial” (“simple” and “complex”) and “generalized.”
Partial seizures may or may not alter consciousness or awareness, depending on where they start and which structures of the brain they involve. Partial seizures that do not alter consciousness are called “simple partial seizures”, in the past called “focal motor” or “focal sensory” seizures. Partial seizures in which consciousness is altered or lost are called “complex partial seizures.”
Generalized seizures affect the whole brain, not just one part, and they alter consciousness. In a generalized seizure, there is no obvious partial or focal onset or aura. When there is a focal onset, and the seizure progresses to involve the whole brain, it is termed a “partial seizure with secondary generalization.”
Generalized seizures come in two sizes: large and small—convulsive and nonconvulsive. Nonconvulsive refers to alterations of consciousness but without jerking movements. Convulsive here means that there are muscle movements like jerking or stiffening.
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