People with epilepsy may have general seizures, which affect the entire surface of the brain, or partial seizures.
Partial seizures begin in a specific area in the brain. They are also called focal seizures. These seizures may affect only one part or one side of the body. The area affected will depend on where in the brain the seizure happens.
Some symptoms of partial seizures include:
- Jerky or rhythmic movements
- Sensations such as tingling, dizziness, feeling full in the stomach
- Repetitive motions
- Changes in emotions
- Altered senses
Generalized seizures may affect all areas of the body.
Some symptoms of generalized seizures include:
- Crying out or making a noise
- Jerky, rhythmic or twitching motions
- Falling down
- Loss of consciousness
- Not breathing
- Confusion after returning to consciousness
- Loss of bladder control
- Biting the tongue
Causes and Risk Factors
In most cases, there is no known cause of epilepsy. However, several factors may be at play in the onset of the condition, such as:
- Serious head injury
- Brain tumor
- Brain infection (meningitis or encephalitis)
- Alzheimer's disease
- Loss of oxygen at birth
- Hardening of the brain's arteries
Children are more likely than adults to develop epilepsy. The reason for this is not known. A family history of epilepsy may sometimes be a factor. Experts are not sure how the disease is passed from parent to child.
Not all seizures are caused by epilepsy. They may be caused by injury, illness or other medical conditions. In these cases, seizures end when the condition improves or heals.