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Absence Seizures Are Mild In Nature And Do Not Lead To Any Complications

Petit mal seizure is a common name for staring spell or absence seizure. It is a short term disturbance in brain functioning. Petit mal is a type of generalized epilepsy. Its occurrences are more common in children than to adults. These staring spells can be occasional or very repetitive, taking place more frequently every hour. If you count them in numbers you can count as many as hundreds of seizures in a single day. Lack of attention and other misbehavior in children can well be interpreted as petit mal seizure.  This may also interfere in their social and individual learning.

Absence Seizures Are Mild In Nature And Do Not Lead To Any Complications

Staring Spells Are The Most Common Event During Absence Seizure

Various Types of Petit Mal Seizure

The seizure can be seen in two settings:

  • Idiopathic
  • Symptomatic

The first one, the idiopathic is better known as typical petit mal seizure. Childhood and juvenile absence is the best example of idiopathic seizure. The kind of seizure is primary generalized epilepsy which occurs due to genetic predisposition. The EEG in this case is typical 3 HZ spike and wave finding. Whereas in symptomatic settings, the child has various degrees of mental retardation and EEG readings are also vary. The symptomatic settings are called atypical petit mal seizure. These are caused mostly by widespread brain damage.

Absence Seizures Are Mild In Nature And Do Not Lead To Any Complications

Medical Identification Bracelet for Concise Notification Of Patient’s Medical And Health Conditions

How Does Petit Mal Seizure Show Its Symptoms?

Petit mal seizure takes place in the brain in very brief episodes and last up to maximum of 30 seconds to one minute. During this, a patient becomes unresponsive, unaware and unpredictable for a few second from the surroundings. However he or she does not lose his or her muscle tone so there are less chances of their falling down during the attaches. The patient goes on a blank staring and does not show any motor activities such as stiffening, convulsions etc.

The absence seizure does not give any warning before the attacks but the good thing is that it also goes off in that similar manner. It does not show any residual symptoms or post ictal episodes.

Medication to Effectively Eliminate Absence Seizure

Typically the petit mal seizure is not dangerous and occurs only for a few second but that also need medical advice as it interferes with child’s learning and may cause injuries too. On scanty episodes attacks doctors do not prescribe any regular medication there are chances that the side effects of drugs’ may outweigh the benefits. However the drugs suggested for frequent attaches are:

  • ethosuximide (Zarontin)
  • valproic acid (Depakene, Stavzor)
  • lamotrigine (Lamictal)

The doctors usually start with the minimum doses possible and increase only if needed to control seizure faster.

Remedial Exercises For Petit Mal Seizure Patients

Medical bracelets for identification are normally suggested to petit mal seizure patients’ so that they can easily get medical help during an emergency. The bracelet will give an idea to the people at the place of emergency that the person has absence seizure. Make sure that the identification bracelet you child is wearing has his physician’s name and phone number. This little exercise will be great help to the people around him to provide immediate medical help if needed. As a precaution do not let your child go for swimming and tracking alone to avoid possible danger.

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