Subclinical Seizures

Overview

A seizure is unusual electrical activity in the brain. These impulses often cause many symptoms, such as jerking of the body or losing consciousness.

When the symptoms of the seizure are not noticeable it is known as a subclinical seizure.

Symptoms

Patients with subclinical seizures do not show any symptoms.


Causes and Risk Factors

Seizures can be linked to:

Children are more likely than adults to develop seizures from an unknown cause. A family history of seizures may sometimes be a factor. However, experts are not sure how the condition is passed from parent to child.

Diagnosis

The most useful way to diagnose epileptic seizures is an electroencephalogram (EEG). This records electrical activity in the brain. The EEG can record unusual spikes or waves in electrical activity patterns. Different types of epilepsy can be identified with these patterns.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans may be used to look at the cause and the location within the brain. The scans can show scar tissue, tumors or structural problems in the brain.

Treatment

For many people with simple partial seizures, correct treatment can lower or prevent seizures. In some cases, patients may not have any more seizures for the rest of their life.

Partial and generalized seizures are often treated differently. Treatment is based on:

  • The type of seizure
  • How often seizures happen
  • How severe the seizures are
  • The patient's age
  • The patient's overall health
  • The patient's medical history

Anti-seizure (or anti-epileptic) medications can be very helpful. It may take a few tries to get the right medication and dose. The doctor will watch for side effects to find the best treatment.

Surgery may be an option if medication can't control the seizures.

Certain lifestyle changes may also be used:

  • Special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet)
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Avoiding certain triggers, such as flickering lights

The staff at the Cedars-Sinai Epilepsy Program will work with each patient to determine the best treatment option.

default
Want More Information?

Cedars-Sinai has a range of comprehensive treatment options.

Looking for a Physician?

Choose a doctor and schedule an appointment.

Need Help?

(1-800-233-2771)

Available 24 Hours A Day

Need Help?

(1-800-233-2771)

Looking for a Physician

Choose a doctor and schedule an appointment.