Few experiences match the drama of a convulsive seizure. A person experiencing severe symptoms of epilepsy may cry out, fall to the floor unconscious, twitch or move uncontrollably, drool, or even lose bladder control.
Within minutes, the attack is over, and the person regains consciousness, but is exhausted and dazed. This is the image most people have when they hear the word epilepsy. However, this type of seizure -- a generalized tonic-clonic seizure -- is only one kind of epilepsy. There are many other types of the brain disorder, each with a different set of symptoms.
People with symptoms of absence epilepsy have repeated absence seizures that cause momentary lapses of consciousness. Some people with these symptoms have purposeless movements during their seizures, such as a jerking arm or rapidly blinking eyes.
Others have no noticeable epilepsy symptoms, except for brief times when they are "out of it." Immediately after a seizure, the person can resume whatever he or she was doing. However, these seizures may occur so frequently that the person cannot concentrate in school or other situations.
Temporal lobe epilepsy is the most common epilepsy syndrome with focal seizures. These seizures are often associated with auras, which are unusual sensations that warn of an impending seizure.
Symptoms of neocortical epilepsy can be either focal or generalized. Some of these symptoms of epilepsy may include:
- Strange sensations
- Visual hallucinations
- Emotional changes
- Muscle spasms
- Other symptoms, depending on where in the brain the seizures begin.