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Types of Seizures

There are many different types of seizures, which are categorized by their severity as well as the region of the brain in which they originate. The specific symptoms of a seizure, as well as the frequency with which they occur, vary widely from patient to patient. Some individuals will experience a single seizure and never experience the condition again, whereas others will have many seizures over their lifetime. Generally, a person who has two unprovoked seizures over any period of time may be diagnosed with epilepsy, which is a seizure disorder.

The different types of seizures include:

  • Focal or partial seizures – These seizures occur when there is abnormal electrical activity in one or more areas on a single side of the brain. They can be further subcategorized into simple and complex seizures. Simple focal seizures typically only affect a single muscle group and do not cause a loss of consciousness. Complex focal seizures typically occur in the temporal lobe, cause a loss of consciousness, and may cause symptoms that seem like abnormal behaviors, such as laughing, crying, or screaming.
  • Generalized seizures – There a several kinds of generalized seizures, all of which involve abnormal electrical activity in both sides of the brain. These seizures cause a loss of consciousness and may cause symptoms such as severe muscle spasms, loss of muscle tone, and others.

At Tampa General Hospital, we have a Level 4 epilepsy center, which means we can provide the highest level of care for patients suffering from seizure disorders. Our team includes neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuropsychologists, and other medical professionals who specialize in the use of the latest diagnostic and treatment technologies and techniques in order to address all types of seizures. As a result of our exceptional commitment to providing the best possible treatment outcomes, our epilepsy program is the first in the nation to receive disease-specific certification from The Joint Commission.