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The symptoms of epilepsy in children and adults are loss of consciousness and seizures - this is what most of us think. Meanwhile, these are symptoms characteristic of only one type of epilepsy. Not all seizures appear as seizures, and vice versa - not all seizures are epilepsy. So how do you recognize epilepsy?

The symptoms of epilepsyin children and adults are usually equated with loss of consciousness and convulsions of the whole body, i.e. with the symptoms of the most common type of seizure, the so-called generalized. Meanwhile, not all types of epilepsy manifest themselves as seizures and vice versa - not all seizures are epilepsy.

Symptoms of epilepsy in adults

The most common type of epileptic seizures are generalized seizures, i.e. major seizures which take place in two phases. The first, the so-called tonic, which lasts around 20-30 seconds, usually begins with a sudden loss of consciousness, which may be accompanied by a fall as well as a scream. Then, as a result of muscle contraction, the body is tilted back and the so-called trismus and the eyeballs turn upwards. The patient stops breathing, and as a result of oxygen deficiency, the skin begins to turn pale-blue. Convulsions lasting up to 3 minutes are characteristic for the second phase of an epileptic seizure - clonic one. Then the person who is sick starts to breathe and a foamy discharge appears on his mouth. During this phase of an attack, you may involuntarily pass urine or stool. Then, the patient falls into a deep, several-hour sleep, although sometimes a state of agitation and aggression appears instead. After waking up, the patient does not remember what happened.

Partial epilepsy, which is the result of discharges only in a certain group of brain cells, is less common. This means that only certain muscle groups are involved in a seizure, and only these are affected by the contractions, e.g. only one limb or the corner of the mouth. Then the sick person does not always lose consciousness. During other types of partial seizures, instead of seizures, the patient may experience numbness, tingling or other symptoms not typical of epilepsy, such as:

  • flashes in front of the eyes
  • smacking
  • smokanie
  • Inability to articulate sounds

How to help a patient with an epilepsy? Check it out!


The symptoms of epilepsy aresimilar to a number of other conditions such as apnea attacks, gastroesophageal reflux disease, cervical torticollis, anxiety attacks and nightmares, sleep-related myoclonus, febrile delirium, tics, migraine, psychogenic seizures, syncope, sleep apnea attacks. In these situations, there is a concern that epilepsy may be diagnosed, which is not actually the case in children.

Symptoms of epilepsy in children

Some types of epilepsy only occur in childhood and do not appear in adults. They include, among others Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which manifests itself as a sudden loss of muscle tone and a fall and / or contraction of muscle groups. This severe type of drug-resistant epilepsy occurs in children between 3 and 5 years of age. Another type of childhood epilepsy is Rolandic epilepsy, a mild and short-lived partial seizure that usually occurs in children between the ages of 7 and 10. The symptoms of this type of epilepsy are unilateral contractions of the muscles of the face, lips, tongue, mouth and larynx. A child may even have half of his face twisted and saliva may leak out of his mouth.

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