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What is grand mal seizure?

Grand mal seizures present a type of seizure that affects the brain, resulting in a loss of consciousness and very serious muscle contractions. The reasons why grand mal seizures occur are various, and they may occur only once in a person’s life, but they may also require the use of certain medications in order for them to be kept under control. It is known that they are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain, which means that the brain’s normal activity is changed. As for the reasons of that change, they can be various, though in a great number of cases they remain unidentified. Still, some of the conditions that can trigger the seizure are decreased level of blood sugar, calcium or magnesium, brain tumors, strokes, certain genetic syndromes, and various infections, particularly the one related to the brain, such as meningitis. Besides these triggers, various head traumas, malformations of blood vessels in the brain and the use of drugs or excessive use of alcohol may also cause grand mal seizure.

Also, it is important to say that certain people are a bit more susceptible to these seizures, and besides those who use illicit drugs and alcohols, among them are those who are deprived of sleep, who have a family history of some seizure disorder or those who have some kind of a condition that results in electrolyte imbalance.

There are two stages that every person suffering from grand mal seizures will have to go through, and those stages are tonic and clonic stage. This is why they are also called tonic-clonic seizures. In the first phase, which lasts for 20 seconds approximately, the person loses consciousness and the muscles begin to contract, while in the second phase, which lasts about two minutes the most, these muscles begin to contract and relax very rapidly, the extremities become stiffened, or violently shaken. The tongue usually suffers a lot during these seizures, due to the strong contractions of the jaw.

Can grand mal seizure be treated?

Not all the cases require the treatment, because in some cases the seizure can happen only once with no indications that it will appear again, but the treatment of the cases that do require the treatment usually consists of medications which have the power to control the seizures. It can be a bit difficult to discover the right medication and the appropriate dosage, but that is why it is usually started with lower dosage, that is gradually increased. It is sometimes necessary to change the medications a few times, because some of them may provoke serious side effects.

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