Saturday, January 12, 2008

Can Absence or Petit Mal seizures can be confused with daydreaming?

For most of us, a "seizure" is a scary incident involving bodily reactions such as uncontrolled muscle contortions or loss of consciousness. But some types of seizures are less obvious, and those people who are affected may hardly exhibit any kind of abnormal activity at all. One such type is called an absence (petit mal) seizure. Unless you know what you're looking at, you may not even notice it when someone has this kind of seizure.

An absence seizure disorder is a type of epilepsy that affects mainly kids. "Staring spells" are the chief symptom. While a child is engaged in an activity, he may stop abruptly and stare off blankly into space. An incident usually lasts a few seconds and ends as quickly as it began. The child generally isn't even aware that the seizure has occurred and has no after-effects.

During the incident, the brain undergoes electrical activity that's unusual but brief. There typically aren't additional signs that would tip someone off to a problem.

Absence seizures can have an effect on a child's school or athletic performance or social development. But happily, most kids with the condition outgrow it. If you are worried that your child is unusually prone to "zoning out," talk to your doctor.


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