A seizure is a sudden change in behavior due to an excessive electrical activity in the brain.
There are a wide variety of possible symptoms of seizures, depending on what parts of the brain are affected. Many types of seizures cause loss of consciousness with twitching or shaking of
the body. However, some seizures consist of staring spells that can easily go unnoticed. Occasionally, seizures can cause temporary abnormal sensations or visual disturbances.
Seizures can generally be classified as either "simple" (no change in level of consciousness) or "complex" (change in level of consciousness). Seizures may also be classified as generalized
(whole body affected) or focal (only one part or side of the body is affected).
Petite mal seizure
Generalized tonic-clonic seizure (grand mal)
Partial (focal) seizure
Temporal lobe seizure
Fever convulsions (seizures in children with high fever)
Common Causes Return to top
Any condition that results in abnormal electrical excitation of the brain may result in a seizure, including:
Progressive neurological conditions such as Sandhoff Disease in children.
Most seizures are self-limiting and stop by themselves after various periods of time. However, a child having a seizure may be injured; breathe food, fluid, or vomit into the lungs; or not get enough
oxygen. During a seizure, it is important to protect the child from injury. Turn the child on his or her side, so that any vomit is expelled.
After a convulsion, most children go into a deep sleep. Don't prevent the child from sleeping. He or she will probably be disoriented, or possibly agitated for awhile after awakening.
Stay with the child until recovery or until you have professional medical help. Meanwhile, monitor their pulse, rate of breathing, and blood pressure.
DO NOT restrain the child
DO NOT place anything between the child's teeth during a seizure (including your fingers).
DO NOT move the child unless he or she is in danger or near something hazardous, or if they have stopped breathing and need assistance..
DO NOT try to make the child stop convulsing. He or she can't control the seizure and is not aware of what is happening at the time.
DO NOT give the child anything by mouth until the convulsions have stopped and the child is fully awake and alert.
Never try to administer anything (even medications) by mouth.
Report all seizures (even a mild one) to the health care provider. If the patient is known to have recurrent seizures, their doctor should be notified so that medications can be adjusted or other
If this is the first time a patient has ever had a seizure, or if this an unusually prolonged seizure for someone known to have a seizure disorder, call for emergency transportation to the hospital.
The doctor will perform a physical examination and ask questions to help understand the cause of the seizures, such as:
Did it occur or start on one side of the body?
Was there movement of the muscles and if so, what was the
Are there any risk factors (such as recent head injury)?
Was consciousness maintained during the seizure?
How long did the seizure last?
What are the frequency of the seizures?
Was there any warning (aura) of the seizures?
Were there any other symptoms present (visual changes, abnormal smells)?
The following diagnostic tests may be performed:
CT scan of the head or MRI of the head
Medications are often prescribed. Instructions for taking them should be strictly followed. Family members should observe and record any seizures to ensure the patient gets proper treatment
Sandhoff children have constant seizure activity once the first seizure has presented itself. Your neurologist will place the child on an anti convulsent however as the disease progresses it will be
necessary to probably add a second or even a third medication, because seizures get almost immune to meds. A constant adjustment of medications is common.
There is a wide variety of the types of seizures your child may have, and the older the child gets it is even more common to have laughing seizures, stop breathing seizures, or complete passing out
seizures. Now those are not the medical names for those seizures but it describes exactly what happens. During a laughing seizure you will notice the child all of the sudden giggling or laughing out
loud, this is one of most parents favorite kind. That may sound crazy but for children that have stopped making noise and lost the ability to smile or laugh, to see if just for a minute the child giggle, is just somehow peaceful. The stop breathing seizures are one of the scariest - the child will start a slight twitch somewhere normally in the facial area, followed by episodes of complete apnea (no breathing). This normally does not last too long however it scares most people more then anything else. You may need to stimulate the child quite roughly to get them to take a breath, or stretch the foot, or even apply o2. The oxygen levels will drop very low and very fast during these seizures and it is best to have a pulse ox machine in the home if your child is experiencing these. A pass out seizure is just that, the child completely passes out, and will awaken within a few seconds or up to 2 minutes. Not as dangerous as the stop breathing but pretty much as scary. The child will become completely limp and non responsive during these. Again have the pulse ox, close by in case supplemental o2 is needed.
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