Seizure types

Pediatrician Wendy Mitchell, MD Neurology, shares advice for parents on the different types of seizures that can affect children and the signs and symptoms of each type
The Different Types Of Seizures In Children
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Seizure types

Comment
129
Like
129
Transcription: 
There are lots of kinds of seizures. They range from the typical convulsion, the generalized tonic clonic seizure, to something that is very subtle. The common name for it is petit mal. Then there are other kinds of seizures that we call localization related or focal. Petit mal can be as subtle as stopping what you are doing while you are in the midst of something, often with the eyelids fluttering; although, that's not invariable, followed by coming back to what you are doing. Essentially like a light went off and a light went on. The child is not aware of it, unless somebody says to them or asks them what was going on. There are also fairly subtle seizures that are called myoclonic seizures, where there may just be a single jerk or dropping things. With a patient with mixed generalized seizures, they may not even be aware that some of the events are seizures. They may think that they are just clumsy in the morning. They drop things. The toothbrush goes flying. The glass falls. They don't really realize that these are seizures until they have a big convulsion and we see that this is a specific type of Epilepsy that has them both together. That's a common type in adolescence where we call it juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. There are other types of seizures that we call localization related or focal. They may range from one hand jerking and then the arm and then the face, or the face jerking. What used to be called temporal lobe epilepsy where the patient goes blank, and then has what we call automatisms; chewing or picking or walking aimlessly. All of those are a change in consciousness, but the child may have some awareness, particularly that the start of the event. People call that awareness an aura as though it is not the seizure, but a warning. In fact, it is the beginning of a seizure.

Pediatrician Wendy Mitchell, MD Neurology, shares advice for parents on the different types of seizures that can affect children and the signs and symptoms of each type

Transcript

Expert Bio

More from Expert

Wendy Mitchell, MD

Pediatrician, Neurology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Wendy Mitchell, MD, is Professor of Clinical Neurology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. She is acting Division Head of Neurology at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, where she has practiced for over 30 years. She is a native of Los Angeles. Her current research interests include cognitive and behavioral aspects of childhood epilepsy, clinical research in anticonvulsants, and a rare immune-mediated syndrome, opsoclonus-myoclonus (or dancing eyes syndrome). In her free time she enjoys scuba diving and yoga.

More Parenting Videos from Wendy Mitchell, MD >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter