A seizure is the uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain, which may produce a physical convulsion, minor physical signs, thought disturbances, or a combination of symptoms.
The type of symptoms and seizures depend on where the abnormal electrical activity takes place in the brain, what its cause is, and such factors as the patient's age and general state of health.
Seizures can be caused by head injuries, brain tumors, lead poisoning, maldevelopment of the brain, genetic and infectious illnesses, and fevers. In fully half of the patients with seizures, no cause can yet be found.
Other causes of seizures
- Brain Degeneration Diseases
- Genetic Disorders
- Illicit Drugs (Amphetamines, Phencyclidine)
- Infection of Brain (Bacterial, Viral, Parasitic)
- Liver Failure
- Trauma Injury
- Unknown Cause (Idiopathic Seizures)
Causes of Seizures
Acanthamoeba is an amoeba that lives in dust, soil, and fresh, sea, and brackish water. Acanthamoeba keratitis causes eye pain, a sensation of something in the eye, and blurry vision. Acanthamoeba causes granulomatous encephalitis, leading to seizures, hallucinations, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting. Diseeminated infection may also result from Acanthamoeba infection.
Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It can cause myriad health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, birth defects, heart disease, stroke, psychological problems, and dementia. Counseling and a few medications can be effective for alcoholism treatment.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) FAQs
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are developmental disorders that do not appear to be linked to vaccines. More people than ever are being diagnosed with an ASD, including adults. Children with autism may receive special education services. A child with an ASD may or may not have a mitochondrial disease.
Balamuthia mandrillarisis is an ameba that lives in dust and soil. Signs and symptoms of Balamuthia include fever, nausea and vomiting, light sensitivity, headache, stiff neck, and headaches. There are various diagnostic tests and medications that treat Balamuthia infection.
Ingredients of the drug bath salts include mephedrone, methylone, MDPV, or MDPK. Feeling high and sexually stimulated are symptoms of bath salt abuse. The primary goals for the treatment of addiction symptoms are abstinence, relapse prevention, and rehabilitation.
Cancers that form from brain tissue are called primary brain tumors. Brain tumors may be malignant (brain cancer) or benign. Certain risk factors, such as working in an oil refinery, as a chemist, or embalmer, increase the likelihood of developing brain cancer. Symptoms include headaches, weakness, seizures, difficulty walking, blurry vision, nausea,vomiting, and changes in speech, memory, or personality. Treatment may involve surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
Brain Damage: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
Brain damage causes destruction or deterioration of brain cells. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and acquired brain injury (ABI) are two kinds of brain damage. Symptoms may include headaches, confusion, memory problems, nausea, and more. Treatment includes patient stabilization and ensuring that blood and oxygen are flowing to the brain. Adequate blood pressure control is also necessary. In cases of severe brain damage, surgery and rehabilitation may be required.
Brain Eating Amoeba (Naegleria fowleri)
Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba found in freshwater and soil. Infection results when the amoeba enters the nose and travels to the brain and spinal cord, causing primary amebic meningoencephalitis, which destroys brain tissue.
Brain Tumor: Warning Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatments, and Cure
A brain tumor can be either non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant), primary, or secondary. Common symptoms of a primary brain tumor are headaches, seizures, memory problems, personality changes, and nausea and vomiting. Causes and risk factors include age, gender, family history, and exposure to chemicals. Treatment is depends upon the tumor type, grade, and location.
Can the Vagus Nerve Cause Seizures?
The vagus nerve is an important pathway to the brain in addition to helping to control seizures. Stimulation of the vagus nerve leads to the discharge of electrical energy into a wide area of the brain, disturbing the abnormal brain activity that causes seizures. The vagus nerve is used to treat seizures that do not respond to medications.
Canavan disease is an inherited genetic disorder that typically causes death before 10 years of age. Signs and symptoms of the disease include developmental delays, loss of muscle tone, enlargement of the head, and severe feeding problems. The disease is most prevalent in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. There is no treatment for the disease.
Cancer is a disease caused by an abnormal growth of cells, also called malignancy. It is a group of 100 different diseases, and is not contagious. Cancer can be treated through chemotherapy, a treatment of drugs that destroy cancer cells.
Approximately 40 million children suffer abuse every year around the world, and more than 1,500 children die of abuse in the U.S. every year. Symptoms and signs of child abuse include poor school performance, physical injuries, regression, anxiety, and panic. Treatment involves ensuring the safety of the child and tending to any physical injuries.
Cocaine and Crack Addiction
Cocaine is an addictive stimulant that is smoked, snorted, and injected. Crack is cocaine that comes in a rock crystal that is heated to form vapors, which are then smoked. Cocaine has various effects on the body, including dilating pupils, constricting blood vessels, increasing body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Cysticercosis (Pork Tapeworm Infection)
Cysticercosis is an infection caused by Taenia solium, the pork tapeworm. Symptoms include seizures, lethargy, nausea and vomiting, headache, vision changes, weakness, and confusion. Treatment depends upon the individual's symptoms and the stage of the infection. Treatment may incorporate anthelmintics, corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, and/or surgery.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus that is spread from person to person via spit, semen, vaginal secretions, urine, blood, sexual contact, breastfeeding, blood transfusions, organ transplants, and breast milk. Symptoms of CMV include fatigue, swollen glands, fever, and sore throat. You can take precautions to prevent CMV such as washing hands frequently and thoroughly and using condoms. If you work in a day care center, wash your hands thoroughly after contact with body secretions, and avoid oral contact with objects covered in saliva. Individuals with HIV infection are at most risk of contracting CMV.
Date Rape Drugs
Date rape drugs such as GHB, rohypnol, and ketamine are sometimes used to assist in a sexual assault. Symptoms and signs of intoxication by one of these drugs depends upon the type of drug ingested.
Do Seizures Come in Clusters?
Yes, seizures can come in clusters. The term seizure clusters is used when three or more seizures that occur within 24 hours (or within six hours as defined in some studies).
Encephalitis is a brain inflammation that causes sudden fever, vomiting, headache, light sensitivity, stiff neck and back, drowsiness, and irritability. Treatment may incorporate anticonvulsants and antiviral medications.
Epilepsy and Seizures: How to Treat?
A seizure is a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder where brain activities are abnormal, causing more than one or recurrent episodes of seizures. Most cases of seizures can be managed conservatively with medication and supportive treatments.
Factitious Disorders by Proxy (Munchausen Syndrome)
Factitious disorders are a mental illness (Munchausen syndrome) in which a caregiver secretly abuses a child by faking symptoms in the child. Symptoms of factitious disorders in victims include chest pain, fainting, and hallucinations. They don’t know what causes factitious disorders; however, it is thought to be a combination of biological variables. Treatment for factitious disorders include a healthcare team.
Fever in Adults and Children
Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37 C), in practice, a person is usually not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Fever is part of the body's own disease-fighting arsenal; rising body temperatures apparently are capable of killing off many disease-producing organisms.
Flakka (also known as "bath salts" or a number of other slang names) is a dangerous synthetic or "designer" drug. Users take it to experience euphoria, but it can often lead to dangerous delusions, paranoia, and bizarre behaviors. Dehydration, hyperthermia, and a dangerous condition that affects the kidneys called rhabdomyolysis can occur as a result of using Flakka.
Group B Strep
Group B strep are bacteria called Streptococcus agalactiae that may sometimes cause infections both in a pregnant woman and her baby. Symptoms include fever, seizures, heart rate abnormalities, breathing problems, and fussiness. Intravenous antibiotics are used to treat group B strep infections.
How Do You Stop Multiple Seizures?
Seizures are a medical emergency. Whether the seizure is a first-time onset or a recurring episode, it is advisable to dial 911 and call for help. A group of drugs called benzodiazepines is usually administered to stop multiple seizures.
Kidney (Renal) Failure
Kidney failure can occur from an acute event or a chronic condition or disease. Prerenal kidney failure is caused by blood loss, dehydration, or medication. Some of the renal causes of kidney failure include sepsis, medications, rhabdomyolysis, multiple myeloma, and acute glomerulonephritis. Post renal causes of kidney failure include bladder obstruction, prostate problems, tumors, or kidney stones.Treatment options included diet, medications, or dialysis.
Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever that causes flu-like symptoms. Ribavirin is the standard treatment for Lassa fever. Hearing loss is a common complication of Lassa fever.
Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE)
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of body tissues caused by autoimmune disease. Lupus can cause disease of the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints, and nervous system. When only the skin is involved, the condition is called discoid lupus. When internal organs are involved, the condition is called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Malaria is a disease that is spread by the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Malaria symptoms include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and body aches. Treatment involves supportive care and antibiotics.
Meningococcemia (Meningococcal Disease)
Meningococcemia is a bloodstream infection caused by Neisseria meningitides. Meningococcemia symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and body aches. Meningococcemia is treated with intravenous antibiotics. There is an effective and safe vaccine to protect against most serogroups of meningococcus that cause meningococcemia.
Microcephaly is a genetic condition where the circumference of the head is smaller than normal due to underdeveloped brain. Microcephaly is caused by genetic abnormalities, abuse of alcohol or drugs, infection (for example, Zika virus, German measles, or chickenpox), exposure to toxins, or PKU while the mother is pregnant. Symptoms of microcephaly depend upon the severity of the accompanying syndrome. There is no treatment for microcephaly.
Powassan Virus Disease
Powassan (POW) virus disease is a rare tick-borne disease that causes symptoms such as confusion, memory problems, fever, headache, vomiting, and seizures. POW virus treatment focuses on supportive care that aims to reduce symptoms. There is no medication or cure for POW virus disease.
Rickets is caused by a deficiency of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate. Infants and children who are exclusively breastfed, have dark skin, and infants born to mothers who are vitamin D deficient are most at risk for developing rickets. Symptoms and signs of rickets include bone pain, delayed teeth formation, short stature, skeletal deformities (bowlegs, abnormally shaped skull), and decreased muscle strength. Treatment of rickets depends upon the cause, but the first step usually involves correcting any abnormal levels of calcium, phosphate, or vitamin D with supplements.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which the person has seizures. There are two kinds of seizures, focal and generalized. There are many causes of epilepsy. Treatment of epilepsy (seizures) depends upon the cause and type of seizures experienced.
Seizure vs. Seizure Disorders: What's the Difference?
Seizures and seizure disorders are not the same medical problems. A seizure happens when the electrical activity in the brain is uncontrolled. There are about 40 different types of seizure disorders, in which epilepsy is one. Symptoms depend on the type of disorder, but can include loss of consciousness, uncontrolled twitching or shaking of one side, or the entire body.
Group A streptococcal infections are caused by group A Streptococcus, a bacteria that causes a variety of health problems, including strep throat, impetigo, cellulitis, erysipelas, and scarlet fever. There are more than 10 million group A strep infections each year.
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding (hemorrhagic). Symptoms of a stroke may include: weakness, numbness, double vision or vision loss, confusion, vertigo, difficulty speaking or understanding speech. A physical exam, imaging tests, neurological exam, and blood tests may be used to diagnose a stroke. Treatment may include administration of clot-busting drugs, supportive care, and in some instances, neurosurgery. The risk of stroke can be reduced by controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stopping smoking.
Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone (SIADH)
Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) is common in older individuals and happens when too much antidiuretic hormone releases and causes water retention and a low sodium level. There are several causes of SIADH. Symptoms include seizures, irritability, elevated systolic blood pressure, and hyponatremia, among others. Treatment involves restricting fluids, treating the underlying cause, and taking medications to decrease the antidiuretic hormone's effect on the kidneys.
Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)
Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is an infection caused by Streptococcus or Staphylococcus. Toxic shock syndrome symptoms include low blood pressure, fever, and a rash with peeling skin. Treatment involves IV fluids to treat the shock, IV antibiotics, cleaning infected wounds, and hospitalization in the intensive care for other assorted treatments.
Toxoplasmosis (toxo) is a parasitic infection that causes flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle aches and pains that may last from a few days to several weeks. Toxoplasmosis can be contracted by touching the hands to the mouth after gardening, cleaning a cat's litter box, or anything that came into contact with cat feces. Toxoplasmosis can also be contracted by eating raw or partly cooked meat, especially pork or lamb, or touching the hands to the mouth after contact with raw or undercooked meat
Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC)
Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a rare genetic disease caused by defects on two genes. The signs and symptoms of TSC vary depending on which organs and systems are involved. Common symptoms include benign tumors, seizures, behavior problems, skin abnormalities, and cognitive impairment. TSC treatment focuses on alleviating the symptoms with medications, special schooling, surgery, supplemental oxygen therapy, lung transplantation, and occupational therapy.
Viral Hemorrhagic Fever
Viral hemorrhagic fever(s), or VHFs are a group of illnesses caused by distinct families of viruses. Many of these viruses are life-threatening, and classified as biosafety level four (BSL-4) pathogens. Viral hemorrhagic fever viruses are caused arenaviruses, filoviruses, bunyaviruses, and flaviviruses. The viruses are carried in rodents and transmitted through urine, fecal, saliva, or other body excretions from the infected rodents. Symptoms of viral hemorrhagic fever include marked fatigue, dizziness, muscle aches, loss of strength, fever, and exhaustion. Severely ill patients may also suffer shock coma, seizures, delirium, kidney failure, or nervous system malfunction. There is no established cure for viral hemorrhagic fever.
What Causes Metabolic Acidosis?
Metabolic acidosis develops when the body has too much acidic ions in the blood. Metabolic acidosis can be caused by vomiting and diarrhea, carbon monoxide poisoning, drug overdose, liver failure, low blood sugar, alcohol, seizures and other disorders.
What Causes Myoclonic Seizures in Babies?
Epileptic syndromes that cause myoclonic seizures usually begin in early childhood, and last throughout life, though milder forms may improve with adulthood. Doose syndrome (myoclonic-atonic epilepsy), Dravet syndrome (severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy [SMEI]) and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are all childhood epilepsy syndromes that may cause seizures in babies and toddlers.
What Does Lead Poisoning Do To Adults?
Lead is a naturally occurring toxic metal found in the earth’s crust. Excess lead buildup in the body can cause lead poisoning. Although lead poisoning primarily affects children, it can also prove to be dangerous in adults.
What Is a Cluster Seizure?
Cluster seizures are episodes of increased seizure activity in which two or more seizures occur in 24 hours. Multiple seizures occur one after the other typically with a recovery period between each seizure and are different from a person’s usual seizure pattern.
What Is the Difference Between a Seizure and a Convulsion?
Learn what the main difference between a seizure and a convulsion is, and how to recognize and treat either condition.
Yellow fever is an infectious disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Side effects are rare with the yellow fever vaccine. Symptoms include fever, chills, back pain, nausea, vomiting, and headache. Treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms.
Examples of Medications for Seizures
- Ativan (lorazepam) vs. Librium (chlordiazepoxide)
- Ativan (lorazepam) vs. Versed (midazolam)
- Banzel (rufinamide)
- carbamazepine, Tegretol, Tegretol XR , Equetro, Carbatrol, Epitol, Teril
- Carnexiv (carbamazepine) Injection
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Depakote (valproic acid) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
- Elepsia XR (levetiracetam)
- Epidiolex (cannabidiol)
- Fludeoxyglucose F 18 Injection
- gabapentin (Neurontin)
- Hydroxyzine vs. Valium
- Klonopin (clonazepam) vs. Valium (diazepam)
- lamotrigine, Lamictal, Lamictal CD, Lamictal ODT, Lamictal XR
- Lyrica (pregabalin) Side Effects, Warnings & Drug Interactions
- Lyrica (pregabalin) vs. Topamax (topiramate)
- Nayzilam (midazolam)
- Neurontin (gabapentin) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
- phenytoin (Dilantin)
- Roweepra (levetiracetam)
- Sabril (vigabatrin)
- Seizalam (midazolam) Injection
- Sesquient (fosphenytoin sodium)
- Side Effects of Dilantin (phenytoin)
- Side Effects of Keppra (levetiracetam)
- Side Effects of Klonopin (clonazepam)
- Side Effects of Lamictal (lamotrigine)
- Side Effects of Mysoline (primidone)
- Side Effects of Tegretol (carbamazepine)
- Side Effects of Topamax (topiramate)
- Side Effects of Zonegran (zonisamide)
- Sympazan (clobazam)
- topiramate, Topamax, Qudexy XR, Topamax Sprinkle, Topiragen, Trokendi XR
- Tranxene (clorazepate dipotassium)
- Valium (diazepam) vs. midazolam
- valproic acid, divalproex, Depakote, Depakote Sprinkle, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon, Stavzor
- Vigadrone (vigabatrin)
- Vimpat (lacosamide)
- What Are the Side Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs?
- Xcopri (cenobamate)