Question: Are Absence Seizures Serious?

How often do Absence seizures occur?

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..

Can Absence seizures cause behavior problems?

Between 30 and 50 percent of children with epilepsy will develop a behavioral or mental health problem. The types of behavioral problems associated with epilepsy include attention deficit, hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, aggression, and autism spectrum disorder.

What are the 3 main phases of a seizure?

Seizures take on many different forms and have a beginning (prodrome and aura), middle (ictal) and end (post-ictal) stage.

Are seizures a mental or physical disability?

Epilepsy is not a mental illness. In fact, the vast majority of people living with epilepsy have no cognitive or psychological problem.

Are staring spells seizures?

Though most staring spells are perfectly normal, sometimes they can signal an absence seizure. Once known as petit-mal (“little sickness”) seizures, absence seizures most commonly affect children between ages 4 and 14, but older kids and even adults can occasionally have them.

How do you treat absence seizures?

Drugs prescribed for absence seizure include:Ethosuximide (Zarontin). This is the drug most doctors start with for absence seizures. … Valproic acid (Depakene). Girls who continue to need medication into adulthood should discuss potential risks of valproic acid with their doctors. … Lamotrigine (Lamictal).

What happens if absence seizures go untreated?

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 an absence seizure looks like?

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.

Can stress cause absence seizures?

Some people experience symptoms similar to those of an epileptic seizure but without any unusual electrical activity in the brain. When this happens it is known as a non-epileptic seizure (NES). NES is most often caused by mental stress or a physical condition.

How long do absence seizures last?

Absence seizures typically last between 10 to 15 seconds. The person returns to normal behavior after the seizure. The person usually doesn’t remember the past few moments or the seizure itself. Some absence seizures can last up to 20 seconds.

Can anxiety cause absence seizures?

Research Shows Anxiety-Induced Seizures Can Resemble Epilepsy. Although epilepsy is one of the most common causes of seizures, it’s not the only cause. Extreme emotional states can give rise to seizures.

What do absence seizures look like on EEG?

Typical absence seizures have generalized 3-Hz spike-and-wave complexes (see image below). EEG of a typical absence seizure with 3-Hz spike-and-wave discharges. The spike frequency is often faster at the onset, with a slight deceleration at the end.

How much is a disability check for epilepsy?

Patients who have controlled seizure disorders can expect to spend about $2,000 per year while those with uncontrolled disorders can pay out as much as $10,000 annually.

Do absence seizures go away?

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. Children who start having absence seizures before age 9 are much more likely to outgrow them than children whose absence seizures start after age 10.

Are absence seizures a disability?

When an epileptic can continue to work, the costs he or she faces due to seizures are still staggering, but the costs of epilepsy are insurmountable for patients that are unable to work at all. Thankfully, individuals that have frequent seizures are often able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Do absence seizures show on EEG?

In many children with absence epilepsy, the EEG shows a specific pattern that confirms the diagnosis. In some cases, your child’s doctor may be concerned that the absence seizures are related to a structural abnormality as well as electrical abnormality of the brain.

Do absence seizures happen every day?

Absence seizures are the main seizure type. These are brief staring spells during which the child is not aware or responsive. Each seizure lasts about 10 to 20 seconds and ends abruptly. Without treatment, seizures typically occur many times a day.

What is the difference between typical and atypical absence seizures?

Generally speaking, typical absence seizures have no discernible cause. Atypical seizures are similar to typical seizures, except they tend to begin more slowly, last longer (up to a few minutes), and can include slumping or falling down. The person may also feel confused for a short time after regaining consciousness.