A sudden changes in movements, behaviour or feelings, in levels of consciousness can be seizure, caused by uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. There are many types of seizures ranging in severity.  Seizure signs and symptoms may include:temporary confusion; staring spell; uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs; loss of consciousness or awareness; psychic symptoms such as fear and anxiety.

A seizure does not necessarily mean that a person has epilepsy, unless the criteria for diagnosis of epilepsy are met. As there are a number of conditions that can be associated with paroxysmal events that can mimic seizures, described in the section 'epilepsy imitators' in EpilepsyDiagnosis.Org, these should be carefully excluded.

Seizure type classification is important for several reasons. The classification has become a worldwide form of communication among clinicians caring for people with epilepsy.

The question of whether a single seizure may be considered to be epilepsy was considered by the ILAE ( International League Against Epilepsy Commission for Classification and Terminology), Fisher et al 2017 .

Seizure First aid

Last modified
4 August 2020
N 88 Epilepsy

Sudden body jerks or shakes (a "fit") may be a seizure. Other types of seizure can manifest with loss of awareness or unusual sensations. Seizures typically pass in a few seconds or...

Rare Condition

Chromosome Ring 20 Syndrome

Chromosome Ring 20 syndrome is a rare chromosomal disorder characterized by medically hard to control epilepsy, nocturnal subtle seizures, behavioural problems and mild mental impairment...

CDKL5 deficiency

CDKL5 deficiency is characterized by early-onset seizures, often presenting as infantile spasms and usually occurring within the first 3 months of life, global developmental delay...

Neuronal ceroïdlipofuscinose

The group of disorders known as the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses have common features including a variable age of onset, motor and mental decline, epilepsy, and visual...


Epilepsy is a disorder that is characterized by seizures...