Fast Five Quiz: Test Your Knowledge of Epilepsy and Seizure-related Conditions

Amy Kao, MD


January 12, 2016

Absence seizures are brief episodes of impaired consciousness with no aura or postictal confusion. They typically last less than 20 seconds and are accompanied by few or no automatisms. Myoclonic seizures consist of brief arrhythmic jerking motor movements that last less than 1 second and often cluster within a few minutes. If the seizures evolve into rhythmic jerking movements, they are classified as evolving into a clonic seizure. Clonic seizures consist of rhythmic jerking motor movements with or without impairment of consciousness; they can have a focal origin. Focal seizures are classified as simple or complex partial seizures. The typical generalized clonic seizures simultaneously involve the upper and lower extremities. Tonic seizures consist of sudden-onset tonic extension or flexion of the head, trunk, and/or extremities for several seconds. These seizures typically occur in relation to drowsiness, shortly after patients fall asleep, or just after they awaken. Atonic seizures are also called "drop attacks." These seizures typically occur in people with clinically significant neurologic abnormalities (although they may occur in developmentally normal children as part of an idiopathic epilepsy syndrome) and consist of brief loss of postural tone, often resulting in falls and injuries (hence, some patients need helmets).

For more on the presentation of epilepsy, read here.


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