A grand mal seizure — also known as a generalized tonic-clonic seizure — features a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions. It's the type of seizure most people picture when they think about seizures in general.
Grand mal seizure is caused by abnormal electrical activity throughout the brain. Most of the time grand mal seizure is caused by epilepsy. In some cases, however, this type of seizure is triggered by other health problems, such as extremely low blood sugar, high fever or a stroke.
Many people who have a grand mal seizure will never have another one. However, some people need daily anti-seizure medications to control and prevent future grand mal seizure.
June 10, 2014
- Seizures and epilepsy: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/epilepsy/detail_epilepsy.htm. Accessed March 11, 2014.
- Tonic-clonic seizures. Epilepsy Foundation. http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/aboutepilepsy/seizures/genconvulsive/tonicseizures.cfm. Accessed March 11, 2014.
- Schachter SC. Evaluation of the first seizure in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 11, 2014.
- Seizure disorders. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic_disorders/seizure_disorders/seizure_disorders.html. Accessed March 11, 2014.
- Schmidt D, et al. Drug treatment of epilepsy in adults. British Medical Journal. 2014;348:g254.
- FDA Drug safety communication: Aseptic meningitis risk with use of seizure drug Lamictal. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm221847.htm. Accessed March 12, 2014.
- Ahmed R, et al. Epilepsy in pregnancy. Australian Family Physician. 2014;43:112.