Home > Health A – Z > Seizures

Seizures

Sudden, uncontrolled body movements and changes in behavior that occur because of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Symptoms include loss of awareness, changes in emotion, loss of muscle control, and shaking. Seizures may be caused by drugs, high fevers, head injuries, and certain diseases, such as epilepsy.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Phenobarbitone versus phenytoin monotherapy for partial onset seizures and generalised onset tonic‐clonic seizures

Epilepsy is a disorder where recurrent seizures are caused by abnormal electrical discharges from the brain. Worldwide, phenobarbitone and phenytoin are commonly used antiepileptic drugs. This review found no evidence to suggest a difference between phenobarbitone and phenytoin for the control of the seizure types investigated. Phenobarbitone was more likely to be withdrawn than phenytoin, presumably due to adverse effects, however other factors may have influenced the rate of withdrawal of phenobarbitone in this review.

Treatment of seizures for patients with multiple sclerosis

Epileptic seizures occur in a relatively small number of patients with multiple sclerosis, but can have serious consequences. Because the cause of epileptic seizures in patients in MS may be different from that in other forms of epilepsy, it is uncertain whether patients with MS should be treated differently. We searched for studies on the treatment of epileptic seizures in patients with MS, but found none. Well designed studies that address this issue are needed.

Lamotrigine adjunctive therapy for refractory generalized tonic‐clonic seizures

There is limited evidence that adjunctive lamotrigine reduces seizure frequency in patients with refractory primary generalized tonic‐clonic seizures.

See all (425)

Summaries for consumers

Phenobarbitone versus phenytoin monotherapy for partial onset seizures and generalised onset tonic‐clonic seizures

Epilepsy is a disorder where recurrent seizures are caused by abnormal electrical discharges from the brain. Worldwide, phenobarbitone and phenytoin are commonly used antiepileptic drugs. This review found no evidence to suggest a difference between phenobarbitone and phenytoin for the control of the seizure types investigated. Phenobarbitone was more likely to be withdrawn than phenytoin, presumably due to adverse effects, however other factors may have influenced the rate of withdrawal of phenobarbitone in this review.

Treatment of seizures for patients with multiple sclerosis

Epileptic seizures occur in a relatively small number of patients with multiple sclerosis, but can have serious consequences. Because the cause of epileptic seizures in patients in MS may be different from that in other forms of epilepsy, it is uncertain whether patients with MS should be treated differently. We searched for studies on the treatment of epileptic seizures in patients with MS, but found none. Well designed studies that address this issue are needed.

Fever in children: What are febrile seizures?

Febrile seizures may occur in children if their temperature rises quickly and by a lot, or if they have a very high temperature. During a febrile seizure, sometimes also called a febrile convulsion, muscles in their body contract. These seizures are particularly common in toddlers: About 2 to 5 out of every 100 children will have had at least one febrile seizure before the age of five.Although febrile seizures can be alarming, they are usually harmless. Children usually recover fully within about an hour of the seizure. But it is still a good idea to see a doctor and have the child examined afterwards.When children have a febrile seizure, they become unconscious and the muscles in their body contract. Their arms and legs may twitch or their body may become unnaturally stiff and rigid. Their eyes often roll back, or they may have dilated pupils or a fixed gaze. Sometimes their lips or face turn blue. Their arms and legs might relax quite suddenly again.

See all (195)

More about Seizures

Photo of a young adult

Also called: Convulsions, Fits

Other terms to know:
Brain, Epilepsy

Keep up with systematic reviews on Seizures:

Create RSS

PubMed Health Blog...

read all...