What are generalized seizures?

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When seizures occur on both sides of the brain, they are called generalized seizures.

There are many types of generalized seizures. They include:
  • Absence seizures. These typically occur in children. The person very briefly loses consciousness. It is as if the child is staring into space, though his or her muscles may twitch and his or her eyelids may flutter. These are very short seizures, lasting just for a few seconds, before the child resumes activity.
  • Clonic seizures. These seizures cause convulsions, which are jerking movements on both sides of the body.
  • Myoclonic seizures. These kinds of seizures involve jerking of the upper body and the limbs. It may appear as if the person has been shocked.
  • Tonic seizures. These seizures, which are more common in sleep, result in sudden stiffness in the muscles.
  • Atonic seizures. These seizures cause a person to droop or fall because of a loss of muscle control. They often are quick, but because they cause someone to fall, they sometimes result in further injury.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures. These seizures cause a person to quickly stiffen, lose consciousness and then convulse with repeated jerking of the legs and arms. These kinds of seizures involve a combination of the symptoms for tonic and clonic seizures.

Continue Learning about Epilepsy & Seizures

Epilepsy & Seizures

Epilepsy & Seizures

Epilepsy is a chronic condition, causing abnormal electrical transmissions in the brain. Seizures may be general, affecting large areas of the brain, in which the afflicted individual loses consciousness and has physically violent ...

jerking of all muscles. Learn more about epilepsy from our experts.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.