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What causes an epileptic seizure?
Seizures occur due to a malfunction of the brain's electrical system. Some seizures are caused by brain diseases, tumors, genetic conditions, or other illnesses or disorders that can be diagnosed (symptomatic seizures). When the cause for the seizures is unknown, they are referred to as idiopathic or cryptogenic seizures.
Seizure causes are also sub-classified into acute (an active cause, such as an active brain disease) or remote (caused by a previous event, such as injury).
What are the symptoms of an epileptic seizure?
Generalized seizure symptoms include unconsciousness, muscle contractions and convulsions (which may appear as very dramatic jerking movements), tongue or lip biting, incontinence, and clouded awareness. There may be weakness or loss of sensation. These symptoms may be brief or last a longer period of time.
Some seizures only cause minor or mild symptoms and can be localized to a specific area of the body. These are called partial seizures. Symptoms of a partial seizure may include an aura (a warning symptom, often a strange sensation in the stomach), lip smacking, fidgeting, lack of awareness of surroundings, confusion, and sleepiness after the seizure. These symptoms typically last 30 seconds to 2 minutes.