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Differences between Grand Mal Seizures and Epilepsy

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, grand mal seizures can be caused by epilepsy. Epilepsy is a type of nervous system disorder that is characterized by an abnormal flow of neural impulses. The abnormal flow of neural impulses can cause several different neurological symptoms, such as intense muscular convulsions known as “seizures. However, not all types of seizure disorders are associated with or caused by epilepsy. There are a lot of different factors that have nothing to do with epilepsy, and can cause seizures.

Temporary Grand Mal Seizures and Chronic Epilepsy

People with no known epileptic disorder can possibly experience grand mal seizures once in a lifetime. In fact, it does not mean that when a person experiences grand mal seizures, that person is already suffering from epilepsy. Both epilepsy and grand mal seizures may be characterized by intense muscular convulsions, but both conditions may differ in duration. Epilepsy is usually a lifelong condition, while idiopathic epilepsy can heal overtime. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke, nonepileptic seizures, such as grand mal seizures, are only temporary and can generally be cured by properly treating the cause.

Epilepsy and Grand Mal Seizures Different Causes

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Abnormal Flow of Neural Impulses Can Cause Grand Mal Seizures in Epilepsy

According to the Centers for Disease Control, epilepsy and grand mal seizures have different causes. Usually, epilepsy is caused by an abnormal flow of neural impulses and neurotransmitter imbalances. On the other hand, grand mal seizures may be caused by very low glucose, sodium, calcium, or magnesium blood levels, stroke, head injury, brain tumors, blood vessel malformation in the brain, abnormally high body temperature, and genetic syndromes. However, the exact cause why grand mal seizures occur is not exactly known as of the moment.

Epilepsy and Grand Mal Seizures Different Treatments

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Anticonvulsant Medications

Both conditions, epilepsy and grand mal seizures do not greatly differ from the types of medications. Epilepsy and grand mal seizures are treated with anticonvulsant medications, which are more accurately called antiepileptic medications. In epilepsy, antiepileptic drugs are usually recommended to be lifelong medications, while in grand mal seizures, taking anticonvulsant medications may be stopped once the cause for episodes of grand mal seizures is treated. For people who are experiencing grand mal seizures that are not associated with epilepsy, it is also best to stay away from activities or events that can cause stress on the body, which can trigger another episode of grand mal seizures.

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