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Old 04-11-2009, 10:02 PM
Vettey Vettey is offline
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Default seizures vs spasm

i felt i was sidetracking the other thread so moved it to here. This was my post

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Hi

Is something classed as a seizure when there is 'abnormal' brain activity happening (at the time that movements occur (or not))? What is the 'thing' that makes it a seizure?

Just trying to work out difference between something like spasm and seizure. Is spasm going to have 'abnormal' brain activity detectable? Or is spasm only caused by problem in nerves (external to brain)?

I have jerky movements at night, don't know what official name is, and this got me thinking about whether these are caused by brain activity and whether the activity would be detectable.

Thought i would come to the experts!

Vet
So, dystonia is caused by mixed messages being sent from the brain. It doesn't show up on scans. One theory is that dystonia is caused by neurotransmitters (so chemicals) being at inappropriate levels, which then cause neurons to be stimulated unneccessarily and muscles to contract.

So what is it about a seizure that is captured by a scan? What is happening in the brain? I thought it was inappropriate stimulating of neurons. Please help me out if this is not right.

What is the thing that defines a seizure? So, the dr say that muscle jerking (or whatever symptom they went to investigate) is due to a seizure occurring?
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:16 PM
lacyndarella lacyndarella is offline
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This is from www.efa.org. Maybe it will help.

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An EEG machine is a recording device connected by wires to electrodes pasted at key points on the patient’s head. The electrodes pick up signals produced by electrical discharge of neurons in the related areas of the brain; the amplified signal from each electrode causes pens writing on a moving belt of paper to jump—similar to the action of a seismograph when an earthquake occurs.

The resulting EEG tracing, with its record of electrical discharge, provides a record of activity in key areas of the brain during the period of the test. Excessive discharge (of the type that, if large enough, might cause a seizure) may show up as a sharp spike or series of spikes; some patterns (such as the 3-per-second spike and wave of absence seizures) are unique to particular forms of epilepsy.
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[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Mommy to Jimmie, diagnosed with Infantile Spasms at 4 1/2 months and LGS at 20 months, and Charlie, so far healthy and happy.
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:18 AM
JoD JoD is offline
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An EMG is like an EEg for muscles. It would tell you if it was muscle/nerve related vs. the brain.
http://tinyurl.com/2a5h52
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:24 PM
Ladybug Ladybug is offline
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Vet:

We had about 20 EEGs with and without video and multiple sleep studies with and without the MSLT during the day too for ds. He developed twitches and all kinds of bizarre movements during sleep when he started keppra. Not one single one turned out to be a seizure, just normal myclonus of sleep (especially when you are falling asleep and he would wake up often during sleep so he would have these every time he fell asleep). All the neurologists ruled out seizures for the movements as the recordings did not show any different activity. They could see muscle spasms (myclonus) sometimes which shows on the EEG as fast spiking waves suddenly and it is really short with no related activity or focal point anywhere. The neurologists have recognizable spike and wave patterns to identify each type of seizure type. If the movement is not brain related (hence seizure) for onset, then it does not show activity on the EEG at the time of the occurence or it shows as muscle movement artifact, which has a different pattern. I do however, believe that my son has some type of dyskinesia/dysautonomia that resulted from the med tx and has not discontinued after stopping the med, but they test for this with different specialists and it is not identified by brain recordings. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:20 AM
Vettey Vettey is offline
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Ladybug,

That makes perfect sense!

Thank you so much,

Vettey
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:06 AM
JoD JoD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladybug View Post
Vet:

We had about 20 EEGs with and without video and multiple sleep studies with and without the MSLT during the day too for ds. He developed twitches and all kinds of bizarre movements during sleep when he started keppra. Not one single one turned out to be a seizure, just normal myclonus of sleep (especially when you are falling asleep and he would wake up often during sleep so he would have these every time he fell asleep). All the neurologists ruled out seizures for the movements as the recordings did not show any different activity. They could see muscle spasms (myclonus) sometimes which shows on the EEG as fast spiking waves suddenly and it is really short with no related activity or focal point anywhere. The neurologists have recognizable spike and wave patterns to identify each type of seizure type. If the movement is not brain related (hence seizure) for onset, then it does not show activity on the EEG at the time of the occurence or it shows as muscle movement artifact, which has a different pattern. I do however, believe that my son has some type of dyskinesia/dysautonomia that resulted from the med tx and has not discontinued after stopping the med, but they test for this with different specialists and it is not identified by brain recordings. Hope this helps.
To make muddy waters even more confusing ( although a sleep study is a good idea) my son has frequent spikes and slow waves on his overnign sleep study and the MLST. There are no corrsponding movements associated with the spokes and waves. They won't call them seizures because there is no associated movement. He uses provigil forr excessive daytime tiredness caused by sleep diordered breathing.
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:26 AM
grinnay grinnay is offline
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As a brain tumor patient with a malignant glial wrapped around the motor strip, and having many an EEG, I have determined that the classification system of Seizures has to be rewritten...(and a recently visiting neurologist from Georgetown Univ. agreed with me - they no longer classify petite mals as benign). I seem to have many focal seizures at night that would normally not come across to many on an EEG...or other seizures witnessed by my doctors as Grand Mals that don't fit the stereo typical classifications of a grand mal. I say go with your gut instinct. If it looks like a chicken and acts like a chicken, its most likely a chicken. Doctors are not perfect. You know your body or childs body more than a doctor. I have been right about sepsis and other disorders about 90% of the time more than my docs, including the regrowth of my tumor (including my neurologist)...go figure.
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