Seizures are classified in two major categories based on the origin of the abnormal electrical activity in the brain:
- Primary generalized seizures start with widespread electrical activity on both sides of the brain.
- Partial (focal) seizures begin with electrical activity confined to one side of the brain.
Within these two categories, there are dozens of types of seizures. Each type is associated with a combination of symptoms. It is important to get an expert medical assessment to determine which type of seizure your child is having and determine the most effective treatment for that specific type of seizure.
Some seizures and epilepsy syndromes cannot be simply classified in these two categories. Sometimes a seizure starts on one side of the brain and spreads to the other side. This is called a secondarily generalized seizure (SGS). Additionally, it is possible to have primary generalized seizures with occasional partial (focal) seizures. This is called symptomatic generalized epilepsy (SGE).