Find the Right Seizure or Epilepsy Treatment
Epilepsy and seizure disorders are serious neurological conditions experienced by millions of adults and children, but there are many treatments available to improve the symptoms of people who are affected by them.
Find out the difference between an epileptic and non-epileptic seizure and what to do if a loved one experiences one.
What is an epileptic seizure?
Healthy brain activity and normal function involves a controlled flow of electrical energy. If the brain cells cause electrical signals to function in an uncontrolled way, an epileptic seizure occurs as electrical energy surges through the brain. This surge may affect brain function as well as function of other parts of the body. Epileptic seizures may be generalized, involving the entire brain, or partial, restricted to a specific area of the brain.
Symptoms of epileptic seizures may include:
- Difficulty communicating
- Loss of consciousness or awareness
- Uncontrolled muscle movements
Epilepsy is not the cause of all types of seizures. Non-epileptic seizures (NES) are relatively common and some people who have NES also have epileptic seizures.
Seeing someone experience a seizure can be frightening, but first aid is relatively straightforward. You should do the following:
- Secure the environment – remove sharp objects
- At end of seizure when body is no longer stiff, turn body to side and loosen anything near the neck
- Do not attempt to hold person down in any way
- Time the seizure
- Remain calm and wait for seizure to end
- Do not allow the person to drive following seizure
- Seek medical treatment
Updated June 6, 2016