Secondary seizures; Reactive seizures; Seizure - secondary; Seizure - reactive
A seizure is the physical findings or changes in behavior that occur after an episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
It may be hard to tell if someone is having a seizure. Some seizures only cause a person to have staring spells, which may go unnoticed. Specific symptoms of a seizure depend on what part of the brain is involved. They occur suddenly and may include:
Symptoms may stop after a few minutes, or continue for 15 minutes. They rarely continue longer.
Causes of seizures can include:
Sometimes no cause can be identified. This is called idiopathic seizures. They usually are seen in children and young adults but can occur at any age. There may be a family history of epilepsy or seizures.
If seizures repeatedly continue after the underlying problem is treated, the condition is called epilepsy.
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Krumholz A, Wiebe S, Gronseth G, et al. Practice parameter: evaluating an apparent unprovoked first seizure in adults (an evidence-based review): report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Epilepsy Society. Neurology. 2007;69(21):1991-2007.
Rubin DH, Kornblau DH, Conway EE Jr, Caplen SM. Neurologic Disorders. In: Marx JA, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 173.
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