Epilepsy and Seizures

September 12, 2020 | 11:28 am

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes recurrent unprovoked seizures. A seizure is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain that usually happens in a short span of time. Two (2) unprovoked seizures with no known or other medical conditions may mean that you have an epilepsy.

Symptoms of Epilepsy

The main symptom of epilepsy are seizures. These seizures affect people differently depending on what type of seizure and what part of the brain is involved.

In general, seizure symptoms are:

  • Uncontrollable jerking and shaking
  • Staring blankly into space
  • Stiffing
  • Loss of awareness or consciousness


Types of Seizures

  • Focal (Partial) Seizure

This seizure only affects one part of the brain.

  • Simple partial seizure

Simple partial seizures do not include loss of consciousness or awareness. This may alter emotions or how something looks, tastes, feels, smells or sounds. Also, involuntary jerking of a body part, tingling sensations, dizziness and seeing flashing lights are results of this seizure.

  • Complex partial seizure

Complex partial seizures include loss of consciousness or awareness. This may include staring blankly, being unresponsive to environment and performing repetitive movements.

  • Generalized Seizures

These seizures affect all areas of the brain.

  • Absence Seizures

This seizure causes a short loss of awareness, staring blankly into space and subtle repetitive movements.

  • Tonic Seizures

This seizure usually affects your back, arm and leg muscles causing it to become stiff.

  • Atonic Seizures

This seizure makes you lose control of your muscles.

  • Clonic Seizures

This seizure usually affects the neck, face and arms causing repetitive, jerking or rhythmic movements.

  • Myoclonic Seizures

This seizure causes sudden brief jerking or twitching of arms and legs.

  • Tonic-clonic Seizures

This seizure causes abrupt loss of consciousness, stiffening and shaking of the body, and sometimes, loss of bladder control and biting of the tongue.


Diagnostic Procedures for Epilepsy

Seizures may be the main symptom of epilepsy but there are other factors that may have caused it. Your doctor might require these tests to rule out other seizure causes.

  • Blood Count and Blood Chemistry

These tests will show infections or conditions that may cause seizures.

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)

This test measures the electrical activity of your brain. Changes in normal brain activity patterns are common in people with epilepsy.

  • Computed Tomography Scan (CT-Scan)

This test shows cross-section images of the brain that reveal abnormalities that may be causing seizures.

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

This imaging test shows a more detailed images of the brain where lesions or abnormalities that are causing seizure may be detected.

  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scan)

This test uses a small amount of low-dose radioactive material injected in the vein to visualize abnormal and injured areas of the brain and to detect abnormalities.


Our Hospital Services

We offer accurate, precise and efficient diagnostic tests that may cater your needs. For inquiries, you may call (046) 481-8000 or (02) 8988-3100:

  • Laboratory Department – local 1208
  • Radiology Services – local 1301
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) Unit – local 1069



  1. Epilepsy Foundation
  2. Healthline
  3. Mayo Clinic
  4. National Health Service



All content found on the DLSUMC microsite, including text, graphics, images, audio or other formats were created for general informational purposes only and are not intended or implied to be substitutes for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call your local emergency hotline immediately.

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