Seizures are the main symptom of epilepsy. Symptoms differ from person to person and according to the type of seizure.
Focal (partial) seizures
A simple partial seizure doesn’t involve loss of consciousness. Symptoms include:
- alterations to sense of taste, smell, sight, hearing, or touch
- tingling and twitching of limbs
Complex partial seizures involve loss of awareness or consciousness. Other symptoms include:
- staring blankly
- performing repetitive movements
Generalized seizures involve the whole brain. There are six types:
Absence seizures, which used to be called “petit mal seizures,” cause a blank stare. This type of seizure may also cause repetitive movements like lip smacking or blinking. There’s also usually a short loss of awareness.
Tonic seizures cause muscle stiffness.
Atonic seizures lead to loss of muscle control and can make you fall down suddenly.
Clonic seizures are characterized by repeated, jerky muscle movements of the face, neck, and arms.
Myoclonic seizures cause spontaneous quick twitching of the arms and legs.
Tonic-clonic seizures used to be called “grand mal seizures.” Symptoms include:
- stiffening of the body
- loss of bladder or bowel control
- biting of the tongue
- loss of consciousness
Following a seizure, you may not remember having one, or you might feel slightly ill for a few hours.