ZocdocAnswersIs a seizure caused by a problem in your brain or your body?

Question

Is a seizure caused by a problem in your brain or your body?

Apparently I had a brief seizure when I was sleeping the other night. My boyfriend said I was shaking really bad but it was over in about 30 seconds. Is something wrong with my brain? How can I have it checked out? Or do seizures have to do with your body not your brain.

Answer

Seizures are symptoms related to a problem with the brain. Sudden abnormal electric activity in the brain can cause seizures. There can be various different reasons for having a seizure, including fevers, head injury, diseases of the brain like epilepsy etc. And sometimes, no cause is identified. In addition, there can be several different types of seizures depending on whether just a specific area of the brain or the whole brain is involved. Most seizures last anywhere from seconds to minutes and are benign. However, sometimes, seizures can last longer than 5 minutes, in which case, it is a medical emergency. Not waking up after having a seizure is also dangerous. Most seizures will stop by themselves however. You should make an appointment to see your primary care doctor to get a referral to see a neurologist for this problem especially since this is the first time this has happened to you. Generally, once you see a neurologist, a detailed history of the episode will be taken, including your past medical history, and medications. A physical exam and testing will be done to rule out diseases that can cause your symptoms and may include blood tests, a CT scan or other testing.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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