While there are many different epilepsy symptoms and signs, some of the more common ones include blackouts, unexplained periods of unresponsiveness, and involuntary arm and leg movements. Perhaps the most well-known symptom is a convulsive seizure, in which the person may cry out, fall to the floor unconscious, twitch or move uncontrollably, or lose bladder control.
An Overview of Epilepsy Signs and Symptoms
Just as there are many different types of seizures, there are many different epilepsy types, characterized by a specific set of symptoms that include epilepsy.
Epilepsy syndromes are frequently described by their symptoms or by where in the brain they originate. People should discuss the implications of their type of epilepsy with their doctors to understand the full range of epilepsy symptoms, the possible treatments, and the prognosis.
In general, when brain cells are not working properly, a person may experience symptoms that affect the person's consciousness, movement, or actions. These physical changes are called epileptic seizures.
Common Symptoms of Epilepsy
Although the symptoms listed in this section are not necessarily indicators of epilepsy, it is wise to consult a healthcare provider if you or a family member experiences one or more of these possible symptoms of epilepsy:
- "Blackouts" or periods of confused memory
- Episodes of staring or unexplained periods of unresponsiveness
- Involuntary movement of arms and legs
- "Fainting spells" with incontinence or followed by excessive fatigue
- Odd sounds, distorted perceptions, or episodic feelings of fear that cannot be explained.
Epilepsy Symptoms: Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizure
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.