Partial seizures occur in just one part of the brain (as apposed to generalized seizures, which affect both sides of the brain). About 60 percent of people with epilepsy have partial seizures. Two types of partial seizures are:
- Simple partial seizures, in which a person will remain conscious, but experiences unusual feelings or sensations that can take many forms.
- Complex partial seizures, in which a person has a change or loss of consciousness. People having a complex partial seizure may display strange, repetitious behaviors such as blinks, twitches, mouth movements, or even walking in a circle.
Myoclonic seizures involve sudden, brief muscle jerks. Almost everyone has a myoclonic muscle jerk occasionally, such as when falling asleep. However, people with myoclonic epilepsy have these muscle jerks much more frequently. Myoclonic seizures often affect both sides of the body and are usually worse in the morning.
Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizures
Generalized tonic-clonic seizures are also known as grand mal seizures. Most seizures depicted on television or movies are grand mal seizures. During a grand mal seizure, a person loses consciousness and alternates between periods of stiffness and periods of shaking. People usually fall down and often lose bladder and bowel control during a grand mal seizure.
If a grand mal seizure starts out as a different type of seizure, it is called a secondary grand mal seizure. However, if it starts out as a grand mal seizures (and stays a grand mal seizure), it is called a primary grand mal seizure. Keppra is approved to be used in combination with other seizure medications to treat primary grand mal seizures in adults and children age six years and older.