Seizures

An epileptic seizure, occasionally referred to as a fit, is defined as a transient symptom of “abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain”. The outward effect can be as dramatic as a wild thrashing movement (tonic-clonic seizure) or as mild as a brief loss of awareness (absence seizure). It can manifest as an alteration in mental state, tonic or clonic movements, convulsions, and various other psychic symptoms (such as dÈj‡ vu or jamais vu). Sometimes it is not accompanied by convulsions but a full body “slump”, where the person simply will lose control of their body and slump to the ground. The medical syndrome of recurrent, unprovoked seizures is termed epilepsy, but seizures can occur in people who do not have epilepsy. For more information, see non-epileptic seizure. About 4% of people will have an unprovoked seizure by the age of 80 and the chance of experiencing a second seizure is between 30% and 50%. Treatment may reduce the chance of a second one by as much as half. Most single episode seizures are managed by primary care physicians (emergency or general practitioners), whereas investigation and management of ongoing epilepsy is usually done by neurologists. Difficult-to-manage epilepsy may require consultation with an epileptologist, a neurologist with an interest in epilepsy

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