Types of Seizures

There are several different types of seizures. Most seizures can be categorized as either focal or generalized.

1. Focal (or partial) seizuresExpand 1. Focal (or partial) seizures Section

Focal (or partial) seizures occur when seizure activity is limited to a part of one brain hemisphere. There is a site, or a focus, in the brain where the seizure begins. There are two types of focal seizures:

If you have epilepsy, ask your healthcare provider to explain what type of seizures you have. Learning the names and terms for your seizure type(s) can help you describe it accurately to others.

2. Generalized SeizuresExpand 2. Generalized Seizures Section

Generalized seizures occur when there is widespread seizure activity in the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The different types of generalized seizures are:

Additional Seizure TypesExpand Additional Seizure Types Section

Infantile Spasms
Infantile spasms are a type of epilepsy seizure but they do not fit into the category of focal or generalized seizures.

Psychogenic Non-epileptic Seizures (PNES)
Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures are not due to epilepsy but may look very similar to an epilepsy seizure.