An Absence seizure is a generalized seizure characterized by loss and return of consciousness; it’s generally not followed by a period of lethargy (i.e. without a notable postictal state). These are more common in children and usually occur in between the age group of 4 to 14. It is possible a child may have 10 to100 absence seizures in a day and they might not be noticed. However, absence seizures can also affect a child’s learning and concentration in the school. Patient suffering from an absence seizure may look like he or she is staring blankly into space for a few seconds and there is a quick return to a normal level of alertness. Usually, this type of seizure does not lead to any physical injury. It doesn’t need to neurological injury.
What is a seizure?
A Seizure is an unregulated electrical discharged as it’s unregulated, it can cause a significant interruption in the normal brain activity. It can happen once or over and over. This uncontrolled activity may lead to physical convulsion, abnormal behavior, and even loss of consciousness.
Causes of Absence Seizure
Absence seizures are caused by abnormal activity in a patient’s brain. Majorly absence seizures are less than 15 seconds and in rare cases, absence seizure last longer than 15 seconds. It can also happen suddenly without any warning signs. Absence seizures occur often in people that are under the age of 20, usually in children the age group is 6 to 12.
Types of seizures are as below:
- Generalized tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal seizures),
- Twitches or jerks (myoclonus),
- Sudden loss of muscle strength (atonic seizures)
A person who is suffering from absence seizures may also have altered levels of neurotransmitters; these are the chemical messengers that help cells to communicate with each other. This condition may be genetic and are able to pass on from generation to generation.
Symptoms of Absence Seizure
Patients in the midst of having an absence seizure don’t speak, listen, or appear to understand. An absence seizure does not typically cause patient to fall down; he or she may be cooking food, walking across the room, or typing an e-mail while having the seizure. Children suffering from epilepsy may experience both absence and grand mal seizures.
The symptoms of an absence seizure include:
- A sudden stop in motion without falling (Being still )
- Lip smacking (making the chewing motion with the mouth)
- Eyelid flutters
- Chewing motions
- Finger rubbing
- Little movements of both hands
- Sudden return in activity when the seizure ends
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above or jerking motions, it may be a sign of another type of seizure taking place along with the absence seizure. Then, you must consult the doctor.
Diagnoses of Absence Seizure
This disease can be diagnosed by a neurologist, who specializes in diagnosing nervous system disorders. The doctor will perform a physical exam, which will include a detailed look at the brain and nervous system. Tests like ECG, blood test or MRI etc. Patient may also be asked to check the electrical activity in the brain and other health problems that may be causing the seizures.
Treatment of Absence Seizure
If the child is suffering from absence seizure, the Doctor will treat the condition with medication to control the number of absence seizures a child has. Controlling absence epilepsy can help the child to reach his or her full potential at school and home. A child may be able to taper off anti-seizure medications, under a doctor's supervision, once the child begins taking a seizure medicine, treatment usually continues for at least two years.