Generalized seizures occur when there are abnormal bursts of energy going on in the brain. These seizures may occur to those who have suffered from head trauma, a brain infection such as meningitis or have been diagnosed with epilepsy, autism, Alzheimer's disease or other neurological conditions. These are the different types of generalized seizures and some of the symptoms of each.
The most common type of generalized seizure is the Grand-mal seizure. When this seizure occurs, the person normally collapses and loses consciousness. The body will stiffen for several seconds and then jerk uncontrollably. The person's back may arch, he may bite his tongue and his eyes may also roll back into the head.
As the Grand-mal seizure comes to an end, it is not uncommon for the person to also suffer urinary incontinence. Then, he may fall into a deep sleep for several minutes. When he awakes, he may have sore muscles, feel very tired and have no memory of what just occurred.
Absence seizures last for only a short period of time. The person usually loses consciousness for only a few seconds and has no other symptoms. They may appear to simply begin staring off into space while in the middle of other activities. This type of seizure can happen several times a day and the person does not normally know when the seizures begin.
Myoclonic seizures are also very short term. The person may feel sudden, brief electrical shocks that trigger involuntary jerks from one or both sides of the body. These seizures may cause one to suddenly drop something or throw something that was being held in the hands or arms.
When a person suffers from clonic seizures, both sides of the body begins to jerk repetitively. The person may or may not collapse depending on the severity of the seizure at the time. This type of seizure also lasts for only a few seconds and may happen more than once throughout the day.
When tonic seizures occur, the body stiffens and the person becomes unconscious. During the seizure, the back may arch, the muscles stiffen more tightly and the person may also have trouble breathing due to the tightening of the chest. The lips and face may also begin to look blue in color if the person is not breathing properly.
Atonic seizures are often short term but may result in an injury. When these seizures begin, the person suddenly loses all muscle tone in their arms and legs. This can result in a fall if the seizure begins when the person is standing or walking.
While it is a scary experience watching someone have any type of seizure, there is really nothing that can be done to make it stop. It is best to remain calm and make sure the person having the seizure is in an area where he cannot harm himself or others until the seizure is over.
For more information on treating and preventing seizures, contact your local neurologist.