Epilepsy – Symptoms and Causes

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Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that causes sudden and unforeseen seizures. A seizure is an instant disturbance caused in the electrical activity of the brain. 

Types of Seizures 

There are two different types of seizures

Generalized seizures– This seizure affects the complete brain. 

Focal seizures– This seizure affects a certain part of the brain. 

Generalized seizures 

Generalized seizures damage both sides of the brain. These seizures are caused due to widespread uncertain electrical pulses present in the brain. Generalized seizures are classified into four types: 

  • Absence seizures– These types of seizures are also called Petitmal seizures, which can cause persistent blinking of eyes for a few seconds. 
  • Tonic-clonic seizures– These types of seizures are also called grand-mall seizures. This can make a person cry out, lose consciousness, suddenly fall to the ground, create muscle spasms. 
  • Febrile seizures– These types of seizures are caused in children who are exposed to severe fever during infection. 
  • Infantile seizures– This seizure does not occur after the age of 4. 

A person may experience fatigue and extreme tiredness after the implications of Tonic-clonic seizures. 

Focal seizures 

Focal seizures are present in any one area of the brain. Focal seizures are also referred to as partial seizures. These types of seizures are classified into three types: 

  • Simple focal seizures– This seizure affects only a small part of the brain. These seizures are responsible for the cause of twitching or difference in sensation, such as a weird taste or smell. 
  • Complex focal seizures– This seizure makes a person with epilepsy baffled or bewildered. The person will be unable to respond to questions or directions for some 
  • Secondary generalized seizures– This seizure initially develops in one part of the brain and then expands to other sides of the brain. We can also say a person with a focal seizure may encounter a generalized seizure in the future. 

Mild seizures are hard to predict and recognize. This type of seizure can be found when you lose your awareness. Stronger seizures are rare but can cause spasms and muscle pain for a few minutes. Some people become confused or lose consciousness and may even lose memory during strong seizures. 

Causes of Seizures 

The following are some of the vital reasons for the cause of seizures. These include: 

Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder in America where it affects approximately 3 million people. Epilepsy is commonly seen in children and young adults. As of now, there is no cure for Epilepsy but it can be controlled by using active medications. 

Symptoms of Epilepsy 

Seizures are the important symptoms of epilepsy. However, these symptoms of Epilepsy may vary from person to person. Sometimes, seizures can have symptoms like: 

  • Interim Confusion 
  • Stiff muscles 
  • Sudden jerk movements 
  • Loss of awareness 
  • Fear and anxiety

What causes Epilepsy? 

The root cause of Epilepsy cannot be determined in most cases. Sometimes, Genetics and Heredity plays a role in the development of Epilepsy. The following disorders may lead to seizures: 

  • Severe brain injury 
  • Presence of vascular diseases 
  • Lack of oxygen 
  • Diseases like Meningitis and AIDS 
  • Brain tumor 
  • Dementia 
  • Head trauma 

What are the Risk factors involved in epilepsy? 

The following are some of the risks causing factors of epilepsy: 

  • Dementia– Dementia is touted to increase the chances of Epilepsy. 
  • Head spasms – Accidental head injuries may sometimes become responsible for the cause of Epilepsy. You can reduce your injury by following the protocols of wearing a seat belt and helmet while driving.
  • Brain infection- Infections like meningitis may instigate brain inflammation and this may cause epilepsy in the future. 
  • Childhood seizures- It has been proven that a lot of times children with high fevers are affected with epilepsy. The chances of epilepsy in children increases in proportion to the level of child’s fever. 

Treatment for Epilepsy 

The doctor will guide you to a treatment plan for you based on your symptoms, your health, and your body reactions to therapies. 

Some prominent treatments for Epilepsy include: 

  • Vagus nerve stimulator 

A stimulator is placed underneath the chest skin and electrical stimulation is sent to the nerves of the neck. This treatment has the chance of preventing seizures. 

  • Anti-seizure drug treatment 

This drug reduces the number of seizures. For some people, these drugs react in an efficient way. 

Epilepsy medicines 

The following medicines can be taken to control epilepsy: 

  • valproic acid 
  • carbamazepine 
  • ethosuximide 
  • levetiracetam 
  • lamotrigine 
  • topiramate 

Occasionally, these medicines may lead to the following side effects like: 

  • poor coordination 
  • memory problems 
  • fatigue 
  • dizziness 
  • skin rash 

Surgery for Epilepsy 

Brain surgery 

The particular affected area which has the presence of epilepsy can be removed or altered using the influence of brain surgery. 

Deep brain stimulation 

In deep brain stimulation, surgeons implant electrodes into a brain layer called the thalamus. Electrodes are placed in the chest region and attached to the generator. The generator regulates electrical impulses. Deep brain stimulation can be done in cases where the medications provided become vain. 


As of now, Epilepsy cannot be cured completely but through proper medications we can avoid further deterioration of seizures. Sometimes it can lead to brain damage. 

It can also cause unexplained death. Seizures can be controlled with medication. Brain surgery can eliminate seizures. Resection, a primary surgery for epilepsy which removes the part of the brain where seizures originate.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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