Seizure types

Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain

Generalised seizures

Generalised seizures occur when the whole brain is affected by abnormal electrical activity. The young person becomes unconscious, if sometimes only briefly.

Focal seizures

Focal seizures occur when one area (or lobe) of the brain is affected by abnormal electrical activity. The symptoms and level of consciousness depend on the area of the brain involved.

These seizures are described according to how they present, particularly whether they cause changes in movement (motor symptoms) or sensation (sensory symptoms) for the young person. What the seizure looks like depends on where in the brain it comes from and what function that area is responsible for. There may be some impairment of consciousness with these seizures although sometimes the young person may be fully aware throughout. Focal seizures can spread to affect the whole brain, resulting in a generalised seizure.

Please select Yes or No


Invalid Input
Invalid Input

Guide for schools

Young Epilepsy helpline: email / call 01342 831342



We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Policy.

I accept cookies from this site
EU Cookie Directive plugin by