Cerebral Palsy Symptoms: Seizures
Some children with cerebral palsy will experience seizure activity as a feature of their condition. For parents, witnessing a child’s seizure can cause severe panic and anxiety. In particular, when a diagnosis of cerebral palsy is not yet confirmed, parents do not have an explanation of what is wrong. Some children will have seizure activity immediately following birth, and this will be one factor that goes into the diagnosis of CP. Some will continue to have seizure activity as they grow older.
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Types Of Seizures
When your child is experiencing a seizure, it can be terrifying. Seeking medical treatment to reduce the onset of seizures can be confusing for parents who must often weigh the benefits versus the effects of medications. When you need information about how seizures affect your child and family, other members of the CP community can help.
Seizures are defined by their location and manifestation, such as loss of muscle tone, convulsions, twitching and unconsciousness. Specifically, some kinds of seizures include:
- Atonic seizures characterized by sudden loss of muscle tone, particularly in the lower extremities
- Generalized tonic-clonic seizures characterized by generalized convulsions
- Tonic seizures characterized by unconsciousness, twitching legs and arms, convulsive body movements and loss of bladder control
- Clonic seizures characterized by jerking movements, rhythmic contractions and violent movements
- Complex seizures characterized by involuntary movement
- Myoclonic seizures characterized by sporadic jerking movements, usually involving both sides of the body
- Petit mal seizures characterized by unresponsiveness to stimulation or the environment
If your child is experiencing seizures, it is important to discuss them with your doctor. Writing down questions you have before your appointment, including what treatments are available and their side effects, will help you get the medical information you need. Some parents also find it worthwhile, if they are able, to film the seizures to show to their doctor and note any details, such as what the child was doing when the seizure happened and what the physical effects were.