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What Are Partial Seizures?
Partial seizures occur in just one part 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 experience 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.
What Are Generalized Seizures?
Generalized seizures are a result of abnormal brain activity on both sides of the brain. These seizures may cause loss of consciousness, falls, or massive muscle spasms. The two most common forms are absence seizures (also known as petit mal seizures) and tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal seizures).
Just as there are many types of seizures, there are also many types of epilepsy (see Epilepsy Types). These are classified by syndrome (a disorder characterized by a specific set of symptoms that include epilepsy) or grouped according to a set of common characteristics, such as:
  • The person's age
  • Type of seizure or seizures
  • Symptoms or where in the brain the seizure begins
  • Whether the seizure's cause is known or unknown (idiopathic).
Epilepsy treatments may include:
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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