What causes petit mal seizures

Petite mal seizures are a type of seizure in which an individual experiences a short and sudden spell of lapsed consciousness. There may also be small movements of the facial and hand muscles. These seizures are seen to occur more commonly in individuals below the age of 20 years. Petite mal seizures are also referred to as absence seizures because the affected individual experiences a lack of awareness. These seizures can be kept in check through intake of anti-seizure medication. In many cases, children who experience such seizures grow out of them as they enter their teen years.

The underlying cause of petite mal seizures may remain unknown in many instances. But there are certain factors which may predispose an individual to the seizures. They are as follows:

  • Some children may be genetically predisposed to petite mal seizure and an episode may be trigged by hyperventilation.
  • Neuron activity takes place in the brain when the various nerve cells send electrical impulses to each other through the synapses. Individuals who experience seizures manifest abnormal neuron activity in the brain. When a petite mal seizure occurs, these nerve cell signals keep on repeating.
  • There may also be imbalances in the neurotransmitter levels in people with petite mal seizures. Neurotransmitters are responsible for facilitating communication between the nerve cells.

There are various medications which help to prevent petite mal seizures or reduce their frequency. However it may take some time to arrive at the correct type of medication and dosage. It is also important to take the medications regularly as there has to be a certain amount of the drug in the blood in order to prevent a seizure. Individuals who experience petite mal seizures sometimes choose to wear medical bracelets through which they can be identified in case of emergencies.

answered by C B

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