Ojemann, Linda Moretti Regional Epilepsy Center, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
Holmes, Mark D. Department of Neurology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
Last reviewed:June 2020
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- Classification and symptomatology
- Focal motor epilepsy
- Temporal lobe seizures
- Grand mal
- Generalized nonconvulsive seizures
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Neurological conditions in which there are recurrent seizures. Seizure disorders result from periodic disturbances to the electrical (nerve cell) activity of the brain, leading to temporary and uncontrolled brain dysfunction. Seizure conditions are often known as epileptic seizures (epilepsy); however, the isolated occurrence of a seizure is not designated as epilepsy. A seizure (ictus) is an event in which there is a sudden alteration in function of nerve cells, most commonly involving excessive electrical activity of the cells. This sudden change in nerve cell function is usually relatively brief, lasting seconds to minutes. Soon after a seizure, the brain may function quite normally. The manifestation of a seizure is variable, depending on which area of the brain is involved (Fig. 1). See also: Brain; Epilepsy; Nerve; Nervous system (vertebrate); Nervous system disorders; Neurobiology
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