What Are Seizures?

By amanda
Reviewed: Dr. Mera
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3. What Are Absence Seizures?

This type of seizure, which used to be called a “petit mal” seizure, is common in school-aged children, but it can affect adults as well. An absence seizure is a type of generalized seizure that does not involve motor symptoms. Instead, these episodes involve brief lapses in awareness where the affected person usually remains “staring off into space”. Hence, absence seizures are often mistaken for “daydreaming”. Though these seizures sound mild and uneventful, they can interfere with children’s education and development.

Absence seizures can be classified into typical and atypical episodes. Depending on the type of seizure, episodes can last 10 seconds or less (i.e. typical) or more than 20 seconds (i.e. atypical). Also, during seizures, patients can experience twitches of specific body parts (i.e. eyelids) or more complex movements like rapid blinking and chewing. After it ends, the person affected will likely have no memory of the episode.


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