Stages Of A Seizure Attack


Of all the different types of seizure, there is only one common denominator that can be observed which is that seizure takes place in phases.

There are generally three stages of a physical attack. The fourth stage prodromal symptom period, which is often an overlooked phase begins in a period prior to the occurrence of seizure.


Prodromal symptoms

Offered for this group of symptoms occurring hours or days before an attack follows. This includes symptoms such as mood swings, dizziness, insomnia, irritability, an ecstatic feeling, usually associated with tenderness, and difficulty concentrating. Uncommon prodromal symptoms are facial pallor, headache and stomach pain.

People with repeated seizures may or may not experience any symptoms prodomal. Even for those patients perhaps the worst form of seizure, generalized tonic-clonic seizure, prodromal symptoms are extremely rare. That said, the seizure is typically divided into three phases aura, ictal period, and after the ictal period.


Prior to the start of an attack, epileptic patients experience physical sensations that they can warn of an imminent attack episode. This is considered actually a less serious type of seizure called simple partial seizures. The feelings are different from case to case, although there are general symptoms that may give away the fact that a seizure will occur soon. These include a sense of restlessness, nervousness, tension, anxiety, depression, weight, and a general feeling that something is not quite right with your body.

These sensations are accompanied by:

– Trembling,

– Salivation,

– Tingling sensation

– Unusual smell or taste,

– Visual and auditory disturbances or hallucinations, and

– DjVu


Basic aura is a period in which mood and behavioral changes can be experienced.

Ictal Period

Each type of seizure produces different symptoms. No attachment, for example, may not appear as an attack on all because of the lack of the violent movements of the body. Apilepsia lot formalized extension, an extremely rare type of seizure, may look like a seizure of a local area of the body which continues for a long time. Tonic-clonic seizures or grand mal, however, produces a full range of known attack symptoms.


The tonic-clonic seizures, the symptoms can be divided into two stages, the tonic phase and the clonic phase.

The tonic phase involves either myclonic twitching or a type of transient muscle spasms, or rarely, followed by the absence of a significant tension in the muscles. This period of anywhere from 10 to 20 seconds.

The clonic phase is the period when the convulsive movements occur. In this phase, tense muscles relax for a short period when symptoms develop into a generalized tremor. The clonic phase often lasts for about 2 minutes with serious bouts of attacks lasting up to 5 minutes or more.

Post-Ictal Period

Again, depending on the type of seizure, the transition between the ictal period for a normal period called post-ictal period can include a variety of symptoms. When the body recovers, the brains can “Close”, which over an extended period of unconsciousness that last from hours to days at a time. This may be followed by sleep or a period of lethargy, and in rare cases, a prolonged period of generalized weakness. This condition is called Todd’s paralysis.


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One Response to Stages Of A Seizure Attack

  1. daphne hill says:


    I suffered a seizure today for the first time in my life; it happened with no warning, & I suffered memory loss, extreme muscle pain, I even grinded the right side of my tongue until it resembled hamburger meat!!

    I had no memory of the seizure; I was confused about what time of day it was, & even had trouble trying to remember my husband’s & my name!!

    Is this normal?! I’m very afraid that I’ll have another one; it crept up on me with no warning!! Please help me!! I desperatly need to know what I’m up against!!

    Thanks–Daphne Hill

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