A seizure is characterized by a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain which can cause changes in the movements, behavior, feelings, or consciousness. Most seizures last between 30 seconds and two minutes. A seizure that lasts more than five minutes is considered a medical emergency. Generally, the occurrence of two or more seizures, at least 24 hours apart, are considered epilepsy.
There are many types of seizures, which range in symptoms and severity. Seizure types vary by where in the brain they begin and how much of the brain is affected. In many cases, the cause of a seizure cannot be identified. Seizures can happen after an infection such as meningitis, a stroke, a closed head injury, or many other illnesses.
Even though most seizure disorders can be controlled with medication, management of seizures has a significant impact on the patient’s daily life. Seizures are classified as either focal generalized, or unknown based on how and where abnormal brain activity begins. Seizure symptoms may include: temporary confusion, uncontrollable jerking, movements of the arms and legs, loss of consciousness or awareness, staring spell, and cognitive or emotional symptoms, such as fear, or anxiety. There are a variety of seizure treatment methods available.