Certain areas of the brain are more likely than others to be the source of a seizure. These include the motor cortex (responsible for the initiation of body movement) and the temporal lobes (including a special deep area called the hippocampus, which is involved in memory). Currently, the form of Cerebral Palsy which occurs most frequently is spastic cerebral palsy which is caused by damage to the motor cortex. Consequently there is a higher frequency seizures and epilepsy in individuals with this form of Cerebral Palsy. The incidence increases in proportion to the severity of the impairment. Children with spastic quadriplegia or hemiplegia are far more likely to have seizure disorder than one with diplegia. That said, the diplegic still has a higher frequency than the general population.
Seizures can cause involuntary changes in body movement or function, sensation, awareness, or behavior. A seizure can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. There are more than 20 different types of seizures.
Seizure is often associated with a sudden and involuntary contraction of a group of muscles. However, a seizure can also be as subtle as numbness of a part of body, a brief loss of memory, sparkling of flashes, sniffing an unpleasant odor or a sensation of fear.
Some seizure types are:
Petit mal seizure is very subtle and is sometimes not detected. In this form of seizure, the child will often looks as though they are staring absentmindedly when in fact they are experiencing a very brief loss of consciousness. They do not loose muscle tone or fall down but will not remember anything that occurs or is said to them during that period.
Psychomotor Seizures are the result of unusual electrical activity in the temporal lobe portion of the brain. This form of seizure involves involuntary repetitive behavior such as chewing of lips or hand rubbing. The child may also have unusual sensory experiences (unusual sights, sounds,or odors) or become fearful or angry during the episode. Confusion usually follows a phychomotor seizure.
Focal seizures result from electrical impulses from one part of the brain and are usually a motor or sensory seizure that is restricted to one side of the body. The individual remains conscious though if the seizure becomes more generalized a loss of consciousness will occur.
Partial complex seizures are characterized by brief loss of consciousness, behavioral, emotional symptoms, loss of memory and automatisms; temporal lobe and frontal lobe seizures are often in this category.
Grand mal seizure, also known as a generalized tonic-clonic seizure, which is characterized by motor seizure involving the entire body.Unfortunately, the most common type of seizure experienced by those with cerebral palsy is the tonic-clonic seizure. In a generalized tonic-clonic seizure, the person will usually emit a short cry and fall to the floor. Their muscles will stiffen (tonic phase) and then their extremities will jerk and twitch (clonic phase). Bladder control may be lost. Consciousness is regained slowly. After a seizure, the person may feel fatigue, confusion and disorientation. This may last from 5 minutes to several hours or even days. Rarely, this disorientation may last up to 2 weeks. The person may fall asleep, or gradually become less confused until full consciousness is regained.
One of the complicating risks of Epilepsy is that further damage can occur in the brain with severe seizures. The individual can also be hurt while falling or during spastic episodes.
For some indivuals, they will outgrow their seizures somewhere in the second decade, but this is not always the case.
There are drugs that can be used to decrease the frequency and gain more control over seizure. A medical professional should be consulted as to the best course of treatment.
Associated Conditions of Cerebral Palsy: Hearing, Depression, Breathing Problems,
Drooling, ADHD, ADD, Bowel issues, Swallowing, Epilepsy, Speech Problems.