Are absence seizures serious?

By | January 3, 2022

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 are 2 characteristics of an absence seizure?

Absence seizures involve brief, sudden lapses of consciousness. They’re more common in children than in adults. Someone having an absence seizure may look like he or she is staring blankly into space for a few seconds. Then, there is a quick return to a normal level of alertness.

What is a typical absence seizure?

Typical absence seizures begin abruptly, last 10 to 30 seconds, and resolve themselves without complication. The person simply stops in their tracks (and/or mid-sentence), and enters a staring, trance-like state during which they are unresponsive and unaware of their surroundings.

Can you respond during absence seizure?

The person will stare (just like in absence seizure) but they may be able to respond a bit. Eye blinking, chewing movements, lip smacking, or slight jerking movements of the lips may occur. There may be rubbing of the fingers or hands or other small hand movements.

Can stress cause absence seizures?

In fact, according to the British Epilepsy Association , stress is one of the most commonly self-reported seizure triggers in people with epilepsy. Research has also shown that even in people without epilepsy, stress and anxiety can trigger what’s known as psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES), or pseudoseizures.

Do absence seizures show on EEG?

An EEG is a test most often used to diagnose absence seizures. This test records the brain’s electrical activity and spots any abnormalities that could indicate an absence seizure.

Can you feel an absence seizure?

Absence seizures, sometimes called petit mal seizures, are brief, usually lasting less than 20 seconds. They cause symptoms that may be barely noticeable. People having these seizures may appear like they’re daydreaming or zoning out.

Can you have seizures for no reason?

Anything that interrupts the normal connections between nerve cells in the brain can cause a seizure. This includes a high fever, high or low blood sugar, alcohol or drug withdrawal, or a brain concussion. But when a person has 2 or more seizures with no known cause, this is diagnosed as epilepsy.

How do you stop absence seizures?

The medicines most commonly used for absence seizures include ethosuximide (Zarontin), lamotrigine (Lamictal), valproic acid (Depakene), or divalproex sodium (Depakote). In about 7 out of 10 children with absence seizures, the seizures may go away by age 18. If this happens, medicines may not be needed as an adult.

How often do absence seizures happen?

They can also happen many times a day, from 10 and up to over 100. They are sometimes divided into ‘typical’ and ‘atypical’ absence seizures. A typical absence seizure consists of a sudden loss of awareness.

Can absence seizures return in adulthood?

Absence seizures are most common in children and adolescents. They can also start in adulthood. This is called an adult new-onset seizure.

Do you blink during seizure?

His or her mouth or face may twitch or eyes may blink rapidly. The seizure usually lasts no longer than 30 seconds. When the seizure is over, your child may not recall what just occurred.

What can trigger a seizure?

What are some commonly reported triggers?

  • Specific time of day or night.
  • Sleep deprivation overtired, not sleeping well, not getting enough sleep, disrupted sleep.
  • Illness (both with and without fever)
  • Flashing bright lights or patterns.
  • Alcohol – including heavy alcohol use or alcohol withdrawl.

What do you do if someone is having an absence seizure?

Absence seizures. This kind of seizure will only last a few seconds, and the person experiencing it will typically not realize that they even had it. Absence seizures do not require any intervention. Just stay calm, and once the seizure is over, treat the person as you normally would.

What is a staring spell?

They are caused by a temporary spark of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. During the seizure, the child will stop what she’s doing and stare ahead. She may stay still during the event, or make chewing or smacking noises with her mouth.

Do you stop breathing during a seizure?

During the tonic phase of the seizure, they may temporarily stop breathing and their face may become dusky or blue, especially around the mouth. This period is usually brief (usually no more than 30 to 45 seconds) and does not require CPR.

Can eating too much sugar cause seizures?

Many seizures take place when blood sugar is low. 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.

Are seizures painful?

In general, the actual experience of having a seizure does not hurt. Pain during seizures is rare . Some types of seizures make you lose consciousness. In this case, you won’t feel pain during the seizure.

Does absence seizures affect memory?

Furthermore, frequent recurrent seizures, even in the absence of neuronal injury, may lead to the decline of learning and memory. It is also possible that chronic, persistent dysfunction of limbic circuits, which is characteristic of epilepsy, may impair memory even in the absence of neuronal injury and seizures.

Can a blood test detect a seizure?

The blood test, which must be used within 10 to 20 minutes after a seizure, can identify the types of seizures called generalized tonic-clonic seizures and complex partial seizures in both adults and older children. The level of prolactin in the blood increases after these types of seizures occur.

Are absence seizures curable?

Development is normal, although children may have higher rates of attention problems. The cause of CAE is mostly genetic. Two out of 3 children with childhood absence seizures respond to treatment. The seizures usually disappear by late childhood or mid-adolescence.

Can Absence seizures cause death?

People with only absence or myoclonic seizures are not known to have increased risk for sudden death.

Can lack of sleep trigger seizures?

Can sleep deprivation trigger a seizure? Yes, it can. Seizures are very sensitive to sleep patterns. Some people have their first and only seizures after an all-nighter at college or after not sleeping well for long periods.

What is a mini seizure?

Overview. A partial (focal) seizure happens when unusual electrical activity affects a small area of the brain. When the seizure does not affect awareness, it is known as a simple partial seizure.

Can depression cause seizures?

10, 2005 — Symptoms of major depression, especially suicidal attempts are associated with an increased risk of unprovoked seizure. A provocative new study shows, that the same brain disorder that causes epilepsy may also be associated with whether a person also has an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Can low blood sugar cause seizures?

Severe low blood sugar is a medical emergency. It can cause seizures and brain damage. Severe low blood sugar that causes you to become unconscious is called hypoglycemic or insulin shock.

What do stress seizures look like?

Frequently, people with PNES may look like they are experiencing generalized convulsions similar to tonic-clonic seizures with falling and shaking. Less frequently, PNES may mimic absence seizures or focal impaired awarneness (previously called complex partial) seizures.

What causes petit mal?

Affecting about two of every 1,000 people, absence seizures (formerly called ”petit mal” seizures) are caused by abnormal and intense electrical activity in the brain. Normally, the brain’s nerve cells (neurons) communicate with one another by firing tiny electric signals.