Your brain controls how your body moves by sending out small electrical signals from your nerves to your muscles. A seizure, or convulsion, is a sudden charge of electrical activity in your brain. It occurs when irregular signals from your brain change the way your body functions.
Epilepsy and Seizures
Are there different kinds of seizures? Seizures are classified into epileptic, non-epileptic or provoked seizures.
Epilepsy is a nervous system disorder that can cause seizures. However, just because you have one seizure does not mean you have epilepsy. A minimum of two unprovoked seizures are usually the conditions for an epilepsy diagnosis.
Non-epileptic seizures may be caused by psychological issues or stress and are not accompanied by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
Provoked seizures are single seizures that may occur as the result of trauma, low blood pressure, low blood sodium, high fever, or alcohol or drug abuse.
What is a seizure disorder? Seizure disorders are any condition in which seizures may be a symptom. A seizure can be a symptom of another health problem, such as:
- A rapidly increasing fever (called a fever seizure).
- An extremely low blood sugar level as in diabetes.
- Damage to your brain from a stroke, brain surgery, or a head injury.
- Problems present since birth.
- Withdrawal from alcohol, prescription medicine, or illegal drugs.
- Infections such as meningitis or encephalitis.
- A brain tumor or structural defect in the brain, such as an aneurysm.
- Parasitic infections, such as tapeworm or toxoplasmosis.