What Is an Absence Seizure?

What are Absence Seizures?

Absence seizures, affecting approximately two out of every 1,000 individuals, were previously referred to as “petit mal” seizures and result from abnormal and intense electrical activity in the brain.

Normally, the brain’s neurons communicate through small electric signals. However, during a seizure, these signals become abnormal. Seizures may affect a specific part of the brain or involve abnormal activity throughout the entire brain (referred to as generalized seizures). Absence seizures belong to the category of generalized seizures and are typically triggered by exertion of some kind.

Typically lasting between 10 and 30 seconds, this type of seizure causes the individual, most commonly a child aged 5 to 15, to suddenly cease their activities (such as talking or walking) and appear to be “staring into space.” Absence seizures rarely lead to convulsions or collapsing. Although consciousness is briefly lost, the individual fully recovers with no lingering confusion or adverse effects. These episodes may occur infrequently or several times per hour. In children, absence seizures may disrupt learning and are often mistaken for daydreaming or inattention. Around a quarter of individuals experiencing absence seizures will develop another type of generalized seizure known as tonic-clonic seizures (previously called “grand mal” seizures). However, the majority of children will eventually outgrow them.

What Causes Absence Seizures?

The exact cause of absence seizures remains uncertain among scientists; however, some studies suggest a potential role of genetics.

See also:

What Is Amenorrhea (Absence of Menstruation)?: Causes and Treatment

What Is an Abscessed Tooth?: Stages, Causes, Risk, Symptoms & Treatments

Placental Abruption?, Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Fully Funded Scholarships

Free Visa, Free Scholarship Abroad

           Click Here to Apply