Definitions and Classification of Seizure Types
Special Care in Dentistry
John Morgan, DDS
Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, 2008
What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is defined by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke as follows:
What are seizures?
A seizure is a paroxysmal attack of brain dysfunction, which involves changes in consciousness, motor activity, or sensory phenomena. The attack is accompanied by abnormal and excessive electrical discharge from neurons. The seizure is sometimes preceded by an aura, which provides a warning of the attack. The aura is a symptom produced by the beginning of electrical discharge before the patient loses consciousness.
Classification of Seizure Types
The International Classification of Seizure Types was first published in 1970 and has since gained wide acceptance. It is based on the clinical presentation of the seizure.
a. Grand Mal or Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizures
b. Petit Mal or generalized absence seizures
c. Psychomotor or temporal lobe or partial seizure with complex symptomatology
d. Jacksonian or partial seizure with motor symptoms
e. Infantile spasms or generalized seizures