Epilepsy pp 107-118 | Cite as

Tonic-Clonic Epilepsy in Humans

  • David W. McCandless


Tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal seizures) are those affecting the entire brain. The convulsions involve the entire body and consist of muscle rigidity, violent muscle contractions, and a loss of consciousness. When the seizure activity stops, ­unconsciousness usually continues for many minutes, then occurs a period of confusion, amnesia, and drowsiness. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures can be roughly classified into two varieties. The first is secondary generalized tonic-clonic seizures, which arise as an aura (simple partial seizure), then become partial complex seizures with a distinct focus. Secondary generalized tonic-clonic seizures then spread bilaterally throughout the brain. The second type (primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures) is bilaterally generalized initially without an initiating focus.


Single Photon Emission Compute Tomography Vagus Nerve Stimulation Partial Seizure Seizure Frequency Single Photon Emission Compute Tomography Image 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • David W. McCandless
    • 1
  1. 1.The Chicago Medical School Department of Cell Biology and AnatomyRosalind Franklin UniversityChicagoUSA

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