Specific Types of Seizures
These types of seizures typically affect both sides of the brain, and present themselves in many different forms of seizures:
- Absence (previously called petit-mal)
- Tonic-clonic (previously called grand-mal)
Absence (petit mal) seizure
A petit mal seizure describes a type of seizure that most commonly resembles a staring spell. It is often referred to as an absence seizure because it disturbs brain activity in a way that leads to the “absence” of behavior.
It is a brief, usually less than 15 seconds, disturbance of brain function due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Absence seizures can be further specified as typical, atypical, or myoclonic.
Petit mal seizures often occur in people under 20 years of age, usually in children ages 6 to 12. They may also occur with other types of seizures, twitches (myoclonus), or the loss of muscle strength (atonic seizures).