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Seizure Size

June 21, 2019

Often during these periods, people sort of look spacey. They’ll stare off and they might have what are called automatisms are automatic behaviors. And so the common sort of automatisms people have will be lip smacking, swallowing repeatedly, or people can have actually hand automatisms where they’ll rub their fingers together, they might pick at things absentmindedly. A typical duration for a seizure like this can be 30 seconds to about three minutes and they can be subtle. So often people don’t notice or don’t recognize these seizures. As someone sitting by themselves, by themselves watching TV, if you’re not watching them like a hawk, you’d never know that they were necessarily having a seizure. After the seizure is over the brain is exhausted, and the person is often I’m exhausted too. And that is that they’re often confused afterwards and sleepy. And that’s often a big distinguishing kind of character between the absence seizures and a complex partial seizure. Because both of those seizures, you’re sort of staring off, you’re not responsive. But with a complex partial seizure, there’s an aura often about 50% of the time. And then afterwards there’s a postictal period or this sort of after a seizure period where you’re just not right, confused, or sleepy often. If the seizure were to get even bigger, well then the motor cortex gets involved and it can cross over the connection between the two hemispheres, which is called the Corpus callosum and involve the other side of the brain. And then you’ll get what are called secondarily generalized seizure where the body stiffens up and shakes. Again, we call it secondarily generalized cause it started in one focal area and then spread out. Again, you know, these are typically a few minutes at most in duration. Four minutes would be a long seizure. And then afterwards people are exhausted, wiped out, not their normal selves for minutes to hours afterwards.

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