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- Seizure: Sudden change in cortical electrical activity, manifested through motor, sensory, or behavioral changes, and/or an alteration in consciousness
- System(s) affected: Nervous
- Synonym(s): Epilepsy; Convulsion; Attacks; Spells
Fractures from falls are more common in the osteopenic age range.
Breastfeeding is not contraindicated. Sedation of the infant should be monitored.
- Monitor serum levels of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs).
- There is a 2-fold increase in congenital malformations in children born to mothers taking certain anticonvulsants. Some expectant mothers can stop taking anticonvulsants safely for the 1st trimester or initial 6-week period (organogenesis). Avoid valproate and lamotrigine. Epileptic patients should notify their neurologist before conception, if possible.
- Recommend against use of category C or D AEDs during pregnancy/nursing. Levetiracetam and topiramate are alternatives for women of childbearing potential (1).
- 200,000 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed in the US yearly, with 45,000 new cases in children <15 years of age.
- Pediatric (<2 years) and older adults (>65 years) more commonly present with new-onset seizures.
- Predominant sex: Male = Female
- 2.7 million with seizure disorder
- 4 million people have had ≥1 seizures.
- 326,000 children (≤14 years) and 600,000 adults (>65 years) have a seizure disorder.
Children delivered breech have a prevalence rate of 3.8% compared with 2.2% in vertex deliveries.
Family history increases risk 3-fold.
Take measures to prevent head injuries. Reduce exposure to lead-containing products. Avoid excessive alcohol use/abuse.
Synchronous and excessive firing of neurons, resulting in impairment of normal control of CNS
True seizures may be triggered by the following metabolic/medical conditions, but seizures occurring due to these conditions do not necessarily define the presence of a seizure disorder (see also “Differential Diagnosis”):
- CNS infection
- Hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia
- Confusional migraine
- Transient ischemic attack
- Narcolepsy/Sleep disorder
- Toxins (e.g., lead, picrotoxin, strychnine)
- Brain tumor
- Cerebral hypoxia
- Stroke/Cardiovascular accident (CVA)
- Drug/Alcohol overdose/withdrawal
- Head injury
- Heat stroke
Commonly Associated Conditions
Infections, tumors, drug abuse, alcohol and drug withdrawal, trauma, metabolic disorders