What Disorders Can Cause Seizures?

Reviewed on 11/24/2021

Seizures are most usually caused by epilepsy. Other causes of seizures include lack of oxygen during birth, intracranial bleeding, maternal drug use, fever (febrile seizures), congenital conditions, Angelman's syndrome, Down syndrome, head trauma, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and others.
Seizures are most usually caused by epilepsy. Other causes of seizures include lack of oxygen during birth, intracranial bleeding, maternal drug use, fever (febrile seizures), congenital conditions, Angelman's syndrome, Down syndrome, head trauma, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and others.

Epilepsy is the most common cause of seizures, but there are a number of different disorders and conditions that can cause seizures

Causes of seizures in newborns include:

  • Lack of oxygen during birth
  • Intracranial bleeding
  • Low levels of sugar, calcium, magnesium, or other electrolytes in the blood
  • Malformations of the brain
  • Metabolic problems
  • Maternal drug use 

Causes of seizures in infants and young children include:

Causes of seizures in children and adults include:

  • Congenital conditions 
  • Angelman's syndrome
  • Down syndrome
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Tuberous sclerosis
  • Head trauma
  • Genetics
  • Progressive brain disease (rare)

Causes of seizures in seniors include:

What Are Symptoms of Seizures?

Symptoms of seizures may include:

  • Motor symptoms 
    • Tense or rigid muscles (tonic)
    • Sustained rhythmic jerking movements (clonic)
    • Muscle weakness or limpness (atonic) 
    • Brief muscle twitching (myoclonus)
    • Epileptic spasms (body flexes and extends repeatedly)
    • Jerking (clonic)
    • Repeated automatic movements (automatisms), such as clapping or rubbing of hands, lip-smacking, chewing, or running
  • Non-motor symptoms (absence seizures) 
    • Staring spells
    • Brief twitches that can affect a specific body part or just the eyelids
    • Changes in sensation
    • Mood changes
    • Changes in thinking or cognition
    • Changes in autonomic functions (such as gastrointestinal sensations, waves of heat or cold, goosebumps, heart racing, etc.)
    • Lack of movement (behavior arrest)

How Are Seizures Treated?

A doctor such as a neurologist can diagnose and treat disorders that cause seizures, including epilepsy. Some doctors may specialize in epilepsy

Tests

There are many tests used to diagnose seizures. These tests may include:

Treatments and Medications

  • Treatment for seizures usually involves anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs).
  • Other therapies may include a special diet (such as the ketogenic diet) to control seizures.
  • Epilepsy surgery may be performed to stop seizures or minimize their risks.

SLIDESHOW

What Is Epilepsy? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 11/24/2021
References
Image Source: iStock Images

https://www.epilepsy.com/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/epilepsy-surgery/about/pac-20393981