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Grand Mal Seizures in Adults

Grand Mal Seizures in Adults

There is a health condition referred to as grand mal seizures that can affect both adults and children, and that occurs when the impulses transmitted through the brain are disturbed. This article provide some information about this condition, its causes, symptoms, and types in adults.
Madhurjya Bhattacharyya
Last Updated: Jan 27, 2018
Under normal circumstances, the nerve cells of the brain produces signals by which they are able to coordinate their activities with each other. The pattern of these signals shows that the cells of the brain are always busy and the places of occurrence of these signals suggests the activities being done by the brain such as controlling muscle movement, hearing, feeling, seeing, thinking, etc. Whenever these signals are interrupted, suddenly seizures occur and are usually very intense. It may take place either throughout or in a part of the brain. When it takes place in all the cells of the brain, it's called generalized seizures and it is also known as grand mal seizures. They are more common in adults, but may occur in children as well. The most common symptoms in adults include jerking limbs and body stiffness.
Causes
Whenever there is an interruption or an abnormal electrical activity in the nerve cells of the brain, grand mal seizures are caused. All the activities of the human body are regulated by the brain and when such seizures occur, the nerve cells lose control of the normal activities. Seizures signify that the brain is not able to function normally due to a number of causes like injuries or some diseases. Metabolic imbalance, stroke, brain tumor, infections in the central nervous system, head injury, birth trauma, and toxic substance ingestion may also cause this medical condition.
Many a time, they may seem to have no specific reason and such types are called idiopathic seizures. There are reports that this type occurs in 75% of the cases in adults. They may be caused due to brain lesions, which are microscopic, that may have taken place at the time of birth. Moreover, they also may be caused due to metabolic disturbances which have still not been explained.
Symptoms
The most common symptoms include stiffening and sudden shaking of the body. The eyes and the mouth remain open, legs and arms straighten till the time the effects of this medical condition doesn't go away. This is accompanied by contraction of the respiratory muscles and as such the air is forced out of the lungs. Moreover, there's clumping of the jaws accompanied by biting of the tongue. The bladders contract thereby releasing urine, the body becomes rigid, and the person loses consciousness. This phase is known as the tonic phase. The tonic phase is followed by the clonic phase and is accompanied by rhythmic muscular compressions of the whole body.
Types
Depending on to what extent and which part of the brain is affected, the type of seizures may vary. Medical professionals divide them into four types: 1) Generalized; 2) Simple partial; 3) Nonepileptic; and 3) Epileptic seizure. Generalized seizures are those which affect both the sides of the cerebral hemispheres at the start of a seizure. Further, a loss of consciousness for sometime or for longer periods is accompanied by this type. If the abnormality is limited to a specific area of the brain, it's called partial seizure. Nonepileptic seizures are those wherein a person's behavior is changed briefly and they appear similar to epileptic seizures. Status epilepticus, which is known to last for more than 30 minutes, is nothing but a persistent or lasting seizure which a person may experience.
On a conclusive note, it is a condition wherein the brain starts functioning abnormally and loses control over the body functions. Furthermore, a person affected by this condition should consult the doctor immediately, as if it is not treated on time, it can become dangerous, and at times life-threatening.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.