Seizure vs Epilepsy – Coping Strategies and Quality of Life

Seizure vs Epilepsy

Seizure vs Epilepsy – Coping Strategies and Quality of Life

Epilepsy is defined as recurrent seizures that have no underlying cause and can be idiopathic or because of changes or damage in a part of brain structure.

If the seizures are due to drug or alcohol withdrawal, or any underlying medical condition, the cause is treated and reversed and it is known as nonepileptic seizure. 

Epilepsy can be caused by 

  • Head trauma
  • Stroke
  • Neonatal brain damage
  • Tumors
  • Infections 

And, sometimes the physicians cannot fund the cause and think it is from an unknown origin. 


What are the 4 Types of Epilepsy? 

There are various kinds of epilepsy such as

  • Progressive myoclonic epilepsy that stems from hereditary conditions and metabolic disorders. It appears in late childhood with seizure-like symptoms, myoclonus and weakness worsening over time. 
  • Refractory epilepsy like its name means the seizures continue despite the medications. 
  • Reflex epilepsy is like a reflex in response to external or internal stimuli like emotions, temperature or lights. 
  • Photosensitive epilepsy means it’s triggered by flashing lights. It can decrease or disappear in the adult years. 
  • Benign rolandic epilepsy seizures involve twitching, numbness or tingling sensations of the tongue and cause speech disturbances or drooling. 
  • Lennox-gastaut syndrome involves multiple seizures and is commonly seen in children with developmental delays. The cause is unknown or idiopathic. 
  • Sturge weber syndrome has nevus flammeus on the scalp, or forehead characterized by seizures, weakness, or developmental delays. 


Is epilepsy more than seizures?

The answer is yes, Seizure vs Epilepsy is more than seizures because the increased number of recurrent seizures is defined as epilepsy.

If the epilepsy begins later in adulthood, the most common cause is stroke. However, the history of epilepsy is in childhood with genetics playing a vital role. There are some factors that can increase the risk like

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Poor diet

Seizure vs Epilepsy can be manifested as staring off or jerking uncontrollably. One may experience multiple types of seizures and there is an aura which can be a warning sign before a seizure begins. Depending upon the type of seizure, one can have the following kinds of symptoms like

  • Vision changes
  • Blurriness
  • Being anxious
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Muscle jerking
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Blinking


What are the 12 types of seizures?

There are various kinds of seizures depending on the onset, level of awareness, the kind of movements that happen. The two main types of seizures are focal and generalized. 

Focal seizures can be defined as abnormal activity in one part of the brain localized to a particular region. This area of the brain affects consciousness, and memory.

It can present as an abnormality in one part of the brain with cortical dysplasia where a region of the brain does not develop and the cells die off.

One of the common reasons for focal seizures is a genetic condition called tuberous sclerosis that causes benign tumors to grow on various organs of the body such as brain, lungs, or heart. 


What are the 4 types of seizures?

Temporal lobe seizures beneath the temples on the side of the head are responsible for memory, interpreting sounds, understanding language, or emotions.

People sometimes do not even know they are feeling something different because of the variation in the intensity.

They can be mild with one feeling something funny, or experience feelings of fear, and anxiety, or deja vu. They perform repetitive movements like lip smacking or rubbing hands together.

Frontal lobe seizures are the second most common type of seizures. Frontal lobe is located behind the forehead that regulates emotions, problem solving, decision making, and movement.

It depends on the part that is affected with symptoms like night walking, thrashing, and bicycling movement.  

Occipital lobe in the back of the brain is the brain’s visual system. Typically, there is no known cause of this type of seizure, a person’s occipital lobe has a lesion or damage that causes symptoms.

It is manifested as visual hallucinations of lights and triggered by visual stimuli such as flashing lights. 

Parietal lobe seizures occur rarely and pn;y comprise 5% of all the seizures. It is located near the center and responsible for processing information like touch, and pain. 

Generalized seizures have widespread electrical discharge in both the hemispheres of the brain. Because the whole brain is involved, it is presented as rhythmic, full-body jerking movements.

This type of seizure that arises from both the hemispheres is called primary generalized epilepsy. The cause is more commonly genetic and without any family history of seizures. 

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The seizure symptoms can be described in a lot of ways. But, there are four most commonly seen symptoms like

  • Tonic seizures where the muscles get stiffened.
  • Atonic seizures known as when the muscles go limp. 
  • Myoclonic seizures are characterized by quick, jerky movements
  • Clonic with repeated muscle shaking or jerky movements. 
  • Other physical symptoms that can be seen are
  • Teeth clenching
  • Tongue biting
  • Rapid blinking of eyes
  • Confusion
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Loss of consciousness 



After a thorough history taking and assessing the clinical symptoms the physician will suggest some medications for the seizure treatment like

  • Phenytoin
  • Levetiracetam
  • Carbamazepine
  • Lamotrigine
  • Oxcarbamazepine

With the medications, they will suggest some diet changes and strictly comply with the treatment regimen [provided by them.


Does a seizure always mean epilepsy?

A Seizure vs Epilepsy does not always mean epilepsy because sometimes there can be a lone seizure due to traumatic injury, or dehydration. Epilepsy can be defined as more than two seizures regardless of the etiology. 


What is the difference between seizure and epilepsy?

Seizures occur individually because of electrical activity in the brain. There can be many reasons behind this occurrence of seizures like medications, or chronic neurological disorder causing repeated seizures.

While epilepsy is a condition that can sometimes last a lifetime that can be regulated and controlled by medications.

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