A seizure is a neurological event that is caused by malformations in the brain, a vascular event such as a stroke, or a head injury. Seizures can also result from epilepsy, a chronic disorder in which brain cells can sometimes misfire and cause a wide range of unusual behaviors.
While there are some common types of seizures, others are rare. Let’s talk about five uncommon types of seizures, how to deal with them safely, and where you can go in the greater Detroit area for outstanding neurological care.
Rare Types of Seizure Disorders
The following neurological issues can cause seizures:
CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder
This seizure disorder, cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5), usually appears during infancy. It features spasmodic, jerking movements in infants as young as eight months old.
Many of these children cannot walk due to this underlying condition, and most are girls due to the fact that the CDKL5 gene is found on the X chromosome. Boys also receive an X chromosome from their mother, which is how a male can have this condition – but it appears less frequently in males than it does in females.
Also called myoclonic atonic epilepsy, Doose syndrome features sudden convulsions (grand mal seizure, or tonic-clonic seizure) which are later followed by falls, or drop attacks, in young children.
Children with Doose syndrome tend to be slightly older at the onset of the related seizures than children with CDKL5 disorder. Another difference is that boys tend to have Doose syndrome at a much higher incidence than girls.
Also called infantile spasms (IS), this is when a baby may exhibit muscular spasms, jerking, and jackknife movements in a quick series of seizures. Each seizure lasts just a few seconds, but the baby may suffer as many as 150 seizures in a row per episode.
This condition warrants emergency medical attention. West syndrome appears in infants who are under 12 months old.
Caused by a gene defect, pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy first appears in childhood as muscular rigidity (tonic, or stiff muscle tone), convulsions (clonic, or jerking), along with very low body temperature. PDE can be largely controlled by taking vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supplements, and magnesium supplements may also be recommended by your neurologist.
This genetic and developmental disorder is characterized by delayed speech and balance issues, but a happy disposition. Patients struggle with involuntary movements, and seizures can begin to appear at age two or three.
What People Witnessing a Seizure Can Do to Help
Safety and overall well-being are paramount in these situations. Be sure to:
- Guide the person to the floor as slowly and gently as possible.
- Place a pillow or folded piece of clothing under the neck and head.
- Move any nearby objects out of the way.
- NEVER place anything in the individual’s mouth.
- Keep a calm and reassuring tone when the person comes out of the seizure into normal movements, level of consciousness, and behavior.
- Call 911 if the seizure lasts longer than three minutes, if this is the first seizure the person has had, if the individual does not wake up within three minutes, or if the person cannot breathe. Also, call 911 if the person is diabetic, has a cardiac condition, is very young, or is pregnant.
First Aid for Seizures
Remember, safety is paramount when a seizure happens.
Most times, a seizure is preceded by an aura. An aura is a feeling or cluster of symptoms that actually warn the patient about, and predict a change in, the activity in the brain. Common kinds of auras are a sense of confusion, a feeling of déjà vu, and twisting and turning movements of the body – particularly the extremities.
If you experience an aura, here’s how to prepare yourself for the oncoming seizure:
- Get into a safe place, such as a room that is carpeted.
- Remove any hazardous objects, such as water glasses or scissors.
- Loosen your clothing, especially the collar.
- Pull over to the side of the road if you are driving.
- Sit or lie down if you are standing.
Seizure Neurological Care in Greater Detroit
If you or someone you love is apparently having seizures and you would like to schedule an evaluation and treatment, contact our team at Associates in Neurology/AIN Imaging. We have convenient locations in southeast Michigan, and our board-certified neurologists can provide an efficient assessment and treatment that works for patients of all ages.
Call us today at (248) 478-5512, or request an appointment via our online form now. We look forward to serving you!