Classification of Seizure

Seizure is any clinical event caused by an abnormal electrical discharge in the brain, whilst epilepsy is the tendency to have recurrent seizures.


A. Partial seizure: Focal, only part of cortex involved

  1. Simple: No loss of consciousness (LOC), no postictal state
  2. Complex: Postictal state present, LOC may or may not be present

B. Generalized seizure: Always associated with LOC, whole cortex is involved

  1. Absence (petit mal): Brief episode of nonresponsiveness to external or internal stimuli; motor tone is preserved
  2. Tonic–clonic (grand mal): Generalized convulsion - brief tonic phase (stiffening) followed by clonic phase (rhythmic jerking) 

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