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    Generalized tonic-clonic seizure

    Seizure - tonic-clonic; Seizure - grand mal; Grand mal seizure; Seizure - generalized

    Generalized tonic-clonic seizure is a seizure that involves the entire body. It is also called grand mal seizure. The terms seizure, convulsion, or epilepsy are most often associated with generalized tonic-clonic seizures.

    Causes

    Generalized tonic-clonic seizures may occur in people of any age. They may occur once (single episode), or as part of a repeated, chronic condition (epilepsy). Some seizures are due topsychological problems (psychogenic).

    Symptoms

    Many patients with generalized tonic-clonic seizures have vision, taste, smell, or sensory changes, hallucinations, or dizziness before the seizure. This is called an aura.

    The seizures usually involverigid muscles, followed by violent muscle contractions, and loss of alertness (consciousness).Other symptoms that occur during the seizure may include:

    • Biting the cheek or tongue
    • Clenched teeth or jaw
    • Loss of urine or stool control (incontinence)
    • Stopped breathing or difficulty breathing
    • Blue skin color

    After the seizure, the person may have:

    • Normal breathing
    • Sleepiness that lasts for 1 hour or longer
    • Loss of memory (amnesia) regarding events surrounding the seizure episode
    • Headache
    • Drowsiness
    • Confusion
    • Weakness of one side of the body for a few minutes to a few hours following seizure (called Todd paralysis)

    Treatment

    For more information about diagnosis and treatment, see:

    • Epilepsy
    • Seizures

    References

    Abou-Khalil BW, Gallagher MJ, Macdonald RL. Epilepsies. In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC. Bradley’s Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 67.

    Bodde NMG, Brooks JL, Baker GA, et al. Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures—diagnostic issues:a critical review. Clin Neuro Neurosurg. 2009;111:1–9.

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        Tests for Generalized tonic-clonic seizure

        Review Date: 2/27/2013

        Reviewed By: Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles and Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

        The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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        St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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