Generalized Seizure

What Is It?

A generalized seizure is one which affects the entire forebrain including both hemispheres (both sides) of the brain, in contrast to a partial seizure which only involves one part of the brain on one side. The term is a general name for these types of seizures. However, there are several sub-types of generalized epilepsy.

The sub-types are separated based on their specific clinical manifestations and electroencephalographic (EEG) characteristics. For example, both grand mal and petit mal seizures are generalized. However, while patients suffering from a grand mal seizure generally fall to the ground and have violent convulsions, petit mal seizures just cause a dissociation of consciousness that appears like a staring spell sometimes with subtle movements.

While most generalized events are primarily generalized, meaning they involve the entire brain from the start of the seizure, some secondarily generalize, starting as a partial seizure and then evolving into a general seizure.

Some Common Types of Generalized Epilepsy

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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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