Chapter 19

  1. Seizure
    A sudden and temporary alteration in brain function caused by massive, continuing electrical discharges in a group of nerve cells in the brain
  2. Convulsion
    Unresponsiveness accompanied by a generalized jerky muscle contractions affecting the entire body
  3. Epilepsy
    A chronic brain disorder characterized by recurrent seizures
  4. Primary Seizures
    Usually due to a genetic or unknown cause

    Categorized as generalized or partial
  5. Generalized Seizures
    Involve both hemispheres of the brain and the reticular activating system, which typically results in a loss of consciousness
  6. Partial Seizure
    Typically related to abnormal activity in just one cerebral hemisphere

    • Simple partial seizure remain conscious
    • Complex is altered mental status or unresponsive
  7. Secondary or Reactive Seizure
    Occur as the result of an insult to the body, such as fever, infection, hypoxia, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, drug intoxication, drug withdrawal, eclampsia in pregnancy, degenerative brain diseases, or imbalances in the electrolytes in the body
  8. Status Epilepticus
    A patient who suffers generalized motor seizures that last more than 5 minutes or seizures that occur consecutively without a period of responsiveness between them
  9. Generalized Tonic-Clonic
    Begins with abnormal electrical activity low in the cerebral cortex that spreads upward, affecting both cerebral hemispheres, and downward, affecting the reticular activating system

    • Aura: serves as a warning
    • Loss of Consciousness
    • Tonic Phase (muscle rigidity): muscles become contracted and tense
    • Hypertonic Phase: extreme muscular rigidity and hyperextension of back
    • Clonic Phase (convulsion): muscle spasms
    • Postictal State: recovery phase
  10. Simple Partial Seizure
    • Involves only one cerebral hemisphere
    • Produces jerky muscle activity
    • Remains awake and aware of seizure activity
  11. Complex Partial Seizure
    • Lasts 1 to 2¬†minutes
    • Remain awake but not aware of surroundings
  12. Absence (Petit Mal) Seizure
    • Blank stare, beginning and ending abruptly, and lasting only a few seconds
    • Unaware
  13. Febrile Seizure
    Caused by high fever, are most common in children between 6 months and 6 years
  14. Syncope
    Fainting, a sudden and temporary loss of consciousness Occurs when there is a temporary lack of blood flow to the brain and the brain is deprived of oxygen for a brief period
  15. Serious Causes of Syncope
    • Myocardial infarction
    • Cardiac dysrhythmias
    • Stroke or TIA
    • Hypovolemia or blood loss
    • Drug use or poisoning
    • Pulmonary embolism
    • Cardiac tamponade
Card Set
Chapter 19
Seizures and Syncope