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Grand Mal Seizure

Grand Mal Seizure Causes

Grand mal seizures happen when the electrical activity in a large region of the brain becomes abnormally synchronized. The cause of seizures remains unknown in estimated half of cases. However, grand mal seizures are sometimes caused by underlying health problems, such as: very low blood levels of glucose, sodium, calcium or magnesium; traumatic head injuries; using or withdrawing from drugs, including alcohol; infections such as meningitis or encephalitis; brain tumors; and blood vessel malformations in the brain or strokes.

Grand Mal Seizure Definition

A grand mal seizure (also called tonic-clonic seizure) features a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions. This is the type of seizure most people picture when they think about seizures in general.

Grand Mal Seizure Diagnosis

The doctor will usually perform a neurological exam that tests reflexes, muscle tone, muscle strength, sensory function, gait, posture, coordination and balance. He or she may also ask questions to assess the person's thinking, judgment and memory.

Grand Mal Seizure Symptoms and Signs

Grand mal seizures have two stages: Tonic phase, wherein loss of consciousness occurs, and the muscles suddenly contract and cause the person to fall down, and a period of rigidity follows; and Clonic phase, wherein the muscles go into rhythmic contractions, alternately flexing and relaxing, and convulsions usually last for less than two minutes.

Grand Mal Seizure Treatment

There are various medications used in the treatment of epilepsy and seizures. Many people with epilepsy are able to prevent seizures by taking only one drug, but others need more than one.

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