A seizure is a sudden burst of electrical activity in the brain that causes a temporary disturbance in the way brain cells communicate with each other.

The kind of seizure a person has depends on which part and how much of the brain is affected by the electrical disturbance that produces the seizure. A seizure may take many different forms, including a blank stare, uncontrolled movements, altered awareness, odd sensations, or convulsions. Seizures are typically brief and can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Seizures are divided into two main categories:
What is a seizure? Absence seizures and focal aware seizures can affect people with epilepsy. These brain images explain how.
Generalised Seizure
  • Involve both hemispheres of the brain

  • Two common types are absence seizures (petit mal seizures) and tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal seizures)

Focal Seizures (Partial Seizures)
  • Only involve one part of the brain

  • Include focal impaired awareness seizures (complex partial seizures) and focal aware seizures (simple partial seizures)