Primary Generalized Epilepsy

What Is It?

Primary generalized epilepsy refers to seizures which start as a generalized seizure. A generalized seizure is one which involves the whole brain, including both hemispheres. If it is a primarily generalized seizure, an electroencephalogram (EEG) of the brain shows seizure activity which involves all parts of the brain simultaneously. While some of these seizures truly seem to start in all areas simultaneously, some may arise from a single focus but spread to generalize so quickly the initial originating location cannot easily be seen on a simple EEG.

A primarily generalized seizure is distinct from focal seizures which generally present as a partial seizure. A partial seizure affects only part of the brain on one side. Some focal, or partial, seizures can spread after some time to involve the whole brain, a process known as secondary generalization. The patient first experiences symptoms of a partial seizure and then after many seconds or minutes develops generalized seizure activity.



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Important Note: This site is not intended to offer medical advice. Every patient is different, and only your personal physician can help to counsel you about what is best for your situation. What we offer is general reference information about various disorders and treatments for your education.

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