What is the primary characteristic of absence epilepsy?

Absence seizures are seizures that generally last just a few seconds, and are characterized by a blank or “absent” stare. Absence seizures usually occur in children between ages 4 to 14, but it’s possible to have an absence seizure at any age.

What is a typical absence seizure?

These seizures are the most common. The person suddenly stops all activity. It may look like he or she is staring off into space or just has a blank look. The eyes may turn upwards and eyelids flutter. The seizures usually last less than 10 seconds.

How do you recognize an absence seizure?

What does an absence seizure look like?
  1. They may look like they are staring off into space or have a blank stare. …
  2. They may suddenly stop all activity — even in the middle of an activity — and will not respond during the seizure. …
  3. Their eyes may turn upwards or their eyelids may flutter.

What are the characteristics of seizures?

Seizures symptoms vary and can include a sudden change in awareness or full loss of consciousness, unusual sensations or thoughts, involuntary twitching or stiffness in the body or severe stiffening and limb shaking with loss of consciousness (a convulsion.)

What are 2 characteristics of an absence seizure?

Signs and symptoms of absence seizures include: Sudden stop in motion without falling. Lip smacking.

What triggers absence seizures?

Causes. Seizures result from overactivity in the brain. Absence seizures occur most often in people under age 20, usually in children ages 4 to 12. In some cases, the seizures are triggered by flashing lights or when the person breathes faster and more deeply than usual (hyperventilates).

What happens if absence seizures go untreated?

Doctors treat absence seizures with anti-seizure medicines. For some children, untreated seizures can get worse over time and may affect learning, development, or behavior. Most children can get complete seizure control by taking the medicine.

What do non epileptic seizures look like?

Non- epileptic seizures may appear to be generalized convulsions, similar to grand mal epileptic seizures, characterized by fall- ing and shaking. They also may resemble petit mal epileptic seizures, or complex partial seizures, characterized by tem- porary loss of attention, staring into space or dozing off.

What are the 4 types of seizures and their symptoms?

Tonic: Muscles in the body become stiff. Atonic: Muscles in the body relax. Myoclonic: Short jerking in parts of the body. Clonic: Periods of shaking or jerking parts on the body.

What is the difference between typical and atypical absence seizures?

Generally speaking, typical absence seizures have no discernible cause. Atypical seizures are similar to typical seizures, except they tend to begin more slowly, last longer (up to a few minutes), and can include slumping or falling down. The person may also feel confused for a short time after regaining consciousness.

Are absence seizures serious?

Absence seizures are a type of epilepsy. They aren’t normally harmful, and most children grow out of them by puberty. But, you should talk to your child’s pediatrician because, untreated, they can affect your child’s life and learning.”

What does an absence seizure look like on an EEG?

In the case of childhood absence seizures, EEG shows bilaterally synchronous and symmetrical 3-Hertz spike-and-wave discharges that start and end abruptly. These discharges can sometimes have maximum frontal amplitude or begin with unilateral focal spikes[2].

Can you be aware During an absence seizure?

Absence seizures

During an absence a person becomes unconscious for a short time. They may look blank and stare, or their eyelids might flutter. They will not respond to what is happening around them. If they are walking they may carry on walking but will not be aware of what they are doing.

Can absence seizures cause behavior problems?

Absence seizures are brief, and usually do not lead to any physical injury. In rare cases, though, some children can have whole-body convulsions. This can happen if a child has many absence seizures in one day or many seizures close together. Learning and behavior problems also can happen.

What is the best treatment for absence seizures?

Ethosuximide (Zarontin).

This is the drug most doctors start with for absence seizures. In most cases, seizures respond well to this drug.

Do absence seizures get worse over time?

Children with absence seizures often outgrow the condition. Absence seizures can continue, however. Some people progress to longer or more intense seizures.

Does absence seizures affect memory?

Although memory deficits are more often present in focal epilepsies, some studies have also found memory problems—especially in visual memory—in children with childhood absence epilepsy [10, 13, 14, 21], while others have not found significant differences in memory functioning in these epileptic syndromes [22, 23].

Are there warning signs before a seizure?

Aura (Late Warning Signs)

A Déjà vu feeling (you feel like you are experiencing something that has occurred before) Intense fear and panic. ‘Pins and needles’ sensation in certain parts of your body. Jerky movements in of the arm, leg, or body.

How long does an absence seizure last?

Atypical absence seizures usually last 5 to 30 seconds, most often more than 10 seconds.

What food should epileptics avoid?

Stimulants such as tea, coffee, chocolate, sugar, sweets, soft drinks, excess salt, spices and animal proteins may trigger seizures by suddenly changing the body’s metabolism. Some parents have reported that allergic reactions to certain foods (e.g. white flour) also seem to trigger seizures in their children.

Does having a seizure damage the brain?

Prolonged seizures are clearly capable of injuring the brain. Isolated, brief seizures are likely to cause negative changes in brain function and possibly loss of specific brain cells.