Story by: Kim Huston on December 5, 2019
If your child has a seizure, it can be scary. What caused the seizure? Could your child have epilepsy? While epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders in the U.S., having a seizure does not necessarily mean a child has epilepsy. Up to 10% of people will have a seizure at some point in their life, according to the Epilepsy Foundation. Learn more about seizures and what causes them.
The brain’s neurons, or nerve cells, talk to each other through electrical impulses. A seizure is a brief change in the normal brain activity. Seizures happen when neurons misfire or “talk too much,” disrupting the normal electrical rhythms of the brain. Seizures are quite common, especially in infants and young children. Seizures have a wide range of causes, including a health condition or an injury. For most kids, however, there is no detectable cause.
Anyone can have a seizure under the right circumstances. A seizure is considered to be a single event; whereas epilepsy is a condition in which where a person is predisposed to having recurrent, unprovoked seizures.
A seizure can be provoked or unprovoked? What does this mean? A provoked seizure is caused by an event such as:
Unprovoked seizures, however, don’t have an obvious link to a cause. These seizures could be triggered by many things; an underlying neurological disorder, genetics or metabolic or chemical imbalances in the body.
When people think of seizures, they often think of one particular type: the generalized tonic-clonic seizure, also called the grand mal seizure. However, there are several types of seizures that a person could experience.
Connect with the Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute neurology team.
Norton Children’s New Onset Seizure Clinic is the leading provider of seizure evaluation in Louisville, Kentucky, and Southern Indiana. We work with children and families to discover what type of seizure may have occurred, what may have caused the seizure, and risk factors for additional seizures in the future. If needed, our team builds a customized treatment plan that can help minimize side effects so your child can live as seizure-free as possible. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained team of neurologists and neurosurgeons use state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to pinpoint your child’s diagnosis.
Norton Children’s Hospital Comprehensive Epilepsy Center has held the highest rating available from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers since 2013.