seizure, there is uncontrolled, excessive electrical discharge
by the neurons
in the brain. Epilepsy
is a brain disorder characterized by recurrent seizures, but
seizures can also be caused by brain disorders such as stroke,
tumor or hypoglycemia. There are two broad categories of seizure:
partial seizures and generalized seizures.
Partial seizures affect a single side of
the brain. Simple partial seizures often are marked only by
a sudden, brief interruption of activity; when the seizure
passes, the patient may be unaware that a seizure has occurred.
Complex partial seizures involve a brief loss of consciousness.
Partial seizures often begin in a particular site in the brain,
most commonly the medial
Complex seizures affect both sides of the
brain. In some cases, the seizure begins in both sides simultaneously;
in other cases, the seizure begins on one side and spreads
to the other side. There may be a sudden loss of consciousness
and muscle spasms, with possible tongue-biting and incontinence.
After consciousness is regained, the patient may be lethargic
and confused for some time.
by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain