There are many types of epilepsy, which cause two types of epileptic seizures: partial or generalized.
Partial (or focal) seizures begin in a specific area in the brain and may affect only one part or side of the body, depending on the location of the brain affected.
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 occur over the entire surface of the brain and 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, stroke, brain tumor, brain infection (meningitis or encephalitis), Alzheimer's disease, loss of oxygen at birth and hardening of the brain's arteries.
Children are more likely than adults to develop the disorder from an unknown cause. A family history of epilepsy may sometimes be a factor, although experts are not sure how the disease is passed from parent to child.
Not all seizures are epileptic; they may be caused by injury, illness or other medical conditions. In these cases, seizures end when the condition improves or is resolved.