Is it possible to have seizures if you do not have epilepsy?

Many people think that epilepsy is the only cause of seizures. It might be the most common cause, but it is not the only reason. There are many other reasons behind having seizures. These following types of seizures called non-epileptic seizures or non-epileptic events. Usually, they not caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain; however, they produced by physical problems as: –

Febrile seizures

Febrile seizures

It attacks children and caused by a high temperature higher than 100.4 F (38.0 C). Usually, Fevers caused by viral infection are more likely to cause febrile seizures than caused by a bacterial infection. It shows itself within 24 hours of the onset of a fever. There are two different types of febrile seizures:

  • Simple febrile seizure:

A simple febrile seizure is the most common type. It lasts from a few seconds to 15 minutes. Which does not recur within 24 hours. Also, it is generalized and not specific to one part of the body.

  • Complex febrile seizure:

This type lasts longer than 15 minutes. It occurs more than one time within 24 hours. Additionally, it is specific to one part of the body.



Meningitis is an infection caused by a virus or by bacteria, which leads to brain membranes swelling and the spinal cord. It can cause seizures.



A case of inflammation of the brain usually caused by a viral infection. It can cause non-epileptic seizures.


It is a condition that pregnant women suffered. This condition characterized by seizures and high blood pressure. Also, Non-epileptic seizures could be the reason for psychological conditions, such as stress, emotions, or subconscious thoughts.

How long do seizures last?

The duration of seizures depends on its type. It lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes.

What are typical absence seizures?

Typical absence seizures are the most common type of absence seizures. It is a type of generalized seizures, as they begin on both sides of the brain at the same time. It is most common in children between the age of 4 to 14 years old. The diagnosis takes many months and sometimes years as many people mistake it for daydreaming or not paying attention.

What are the symptoms of typical absence seizures?
  • A sudden stop of all activities as motion or speaking. In which the patient looks as if he or she is staring into space.
  • Eyelid flutter.
  • Lip-smacking and chewing movement.
  • A small movement of hands.
  • The seizure lasts for a few seconds.
  • After recovery, the patient cannot remember what happened during the seizure.

What is the main physiological cause for typical absence seizures?

Abnormal electric activity in the brain as all epileptic seizures.

What are the risk factors of typical absence epilepsy?

  • Age: absence seizure is prevalent in children between 4 and 14 years old.
  • Sex: this type of seizure is more common in girls than in boys.
  • Genetics: A family history of epilepsy plays a highly influential role as about half of children with typical absences epilepsy have a close relative with seizures.
What is the diagnosis of typical absence seizures?

A good description of what happened during the seizure is quite critical in diagnosis. Usually, people who have seen the seizures before are the perfect describers.

Then the doctor will ask for more tests as

  • Electroencephalography (EEG)

The doctor uses this test to measure waves of electrical activity in the patient’s brain. These waves got transmitted to the EEG machine through electrodes attached to the scalp of the patient. The pattern on the EEG during seizures differs from the standard one. During the EEG test, the seizure triggered by rapid breathing.

  • Brain scans

Brains scan measured throughout Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). It produces a detailed image of the patient’s brain. This image helps the doctor to determine any problem like a stroke or a brain tumor.

What are the possible treatments for typical absence seizures?


Anti-seizure medications are the first-line treatment for typical absence seizures. The doctor begins with a low dose of anti-seizure pills. Then, he increases the dose gradually to control the patient’s seizures. If the seizures stoped for two years, then the patient could stop the medication. However, this should be under doctor supervision.

Here are some drugs used for the treatment of typical absence seizures: –

  • Ethosuximide: is the drug of choice for absence seizures, as seizures respond well to it in most cases.
  • Valproic acid: Doctors recommend that type of drug the most, for patients with both absence seizures and tonic-clonic seizures.
  • Lamotrigine: it is the least effective drug, but it has fewer side effects.

2.Dietary therapy

The Ketogenic diet (high fat, low carbohydrate, and controlled protein diet) can improve the control of the seizures.

What are the types of epilepsy?

Knowing the type of epilepsy is very useful in choosing the suitable treatment.

There are two main classes of epilepsy, according to the type of seizure the patient suffered, which are: –

Generalized seizures:

Generalized seizures

Generalized seizures caused by abnormal electric activities on both sides of the brain.

There are six types of generalized seizures:

  • Tonic-clonic seizures:

It is also called a grand mal seizure. Seizures consist of two phases tonic phase and clonic phase. The seizure begins with Limbs’ stiffening (the tonic phase), followed by limbs’ jerking (the clonic phase).

The consequences of a seizure can be:

  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Mouth and tongue biting.
  • Rare loss of bladder control.

After the seizure, the patient may be confused, want to sleep, and sometimes suffering from a headache.

  • Myoclonic seizures

Myoclonic seizures are rapid, brief jerks or twitches of the body muscles. Usually, it occurs at the same time on both sides of the body, and it involves arms and legs.

  • Tonic seizures

These seizures cause stiffening of the patient’s muscles. The seizures affect the back, arms, and leg muscles.

  • Clonic seizures

These seizures are associated with repeated jerking muscle movements. Usually, seizures affect the neck, face, and arms.

  • Atonic seizures

These seizures cause a loss of muscle control, which causes sudden collapse or falls. Also, it called drop seizures.

  • Absence seizures

Doctors also call it petit mal seizures. There are two types of absence seizures:

  • Typical absence seizure.
  • Atypical absence seizures.

Partial seizures:

Partial seizures

Seizures caused by abnormal electric activities on one brain side.

There are three types of partial seizures:

  • Simple partial seizures

There is no loss of consciousness during the simple partial seizure. These seizures alert emotions and how things look, smell, sound, or taste.

The seizures may result in jerking or twitches of a body part such as an arm or a leg.

  • Complex partial seizures

These seizures involve change or loss of consciousness. During the seizure, first, the patient stares into space. Then, he starts to perform repetitive movements, such as: –

  • Hand rubbing.
  • Chewing.
  • Lips’ smacking.
  • Walking in circles.
  • Secondarily generalized seizures

These seizures begin in one side of the patient’s brain. Then, it spreads to both sides of the brain.

What are the treatments of different seizures types?

Selecting the treatment of epilepsy based on many factors. Type of the seizures a patient suffered is one of these factors

A. Treatment of generalized tonic-clonic seizures:

  1. Anti-seizure drugs:

The doctor will start with a low dose of one drug, then increase the dose gradually to control the seizures.

Some patients need more than one drug to control their seizures.

First-line drugs:
  • Carbamazepine
  • Lamotrigine
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Sodium valproate
Adjunctive drugs:
  • Clobazam
  • Lamotrigine
  • Levetiracetam
  • Sodium valproate
  • Topiramate

If the drugs cannot control the seizures, the doctor will try other types of therapy.


          2. Vagus nerve stimulation:

This treatment is an adjunct treatment. The vagus nerves are a pair of nerves start in the brain and run through the body. In this treatment, a device got implanted under the skin of the patient’s chest. Wires from the device got connected to the vagus nerve in the patient’s neck. The electrical pulses sent to the brain through the vagus nerve can prevent or reduce seizures.

  1. Ketogenic diet:

Doctors use it as an alternative therapy. Usually, it prescribed for children.

B. Treatment of tonic seizures:

  1. Anti-seizure drugs:

Anti-seizure drugs are the chief medication for tonic seizures.

  • First-line drugs:

Sodium valproate

  • Adjunctive drugs:


If the drugs cannot control the seizures, the doctor will try other types of therapy as: –

  • Ketogenic diet

C. Treatment of atonic seizures:

1. Anti-seizure drugs:

  • Sodium valproate
  • lamotrigine
  • topiramate

If the drugs cannot control the seizures, the doctor will try other types of therapy.

  1. Dietary therapies:
  • Ketogenic diet
  • modified Atkins diet:

Modified Atkins diet is a modified Ketogenic diet with fewer restrictions.

No fluid limitations.

No protein restriction.

Doctors prescribe this diet for adult patients, as well as children.

  • Vagus nerve stimulation

Treatment of myoclonic seizures:

1.Anti-seizure drugs:

  • Sodium valproate
  • lamotrigine
  • topiramate
  • Levetiracetam

If the drugs can do not control the patient’s seizures, the doctor will use other therapies.

  1. Ketogenic diet
  2. Vagus nerve stimulation

D. Treatment of simple partial seizures:

  1. Anti-seizure drugs:
  • carbamazepine
  • lamotrigine
  • oxcarbazepine
  • phenytoin
  • sodium valproate

When the drugs cannot control the seizures, the doctor will try other types of therapy as

  1. Ketogenic diet:
  2. Vagus nerve stimulation
  3. Surgery:

It is the last choice. Doctors use it for patients with refractory seizures. It is suitable for patients with well-defined seizure onset.

Treatment of complex partial seizures:

  1. Anti-seizure drugs:

All available anti-seizure drugs except ethosuximide used in the treatment. The selection of a suitable anti-seizure drug based on its side effects, drug interactions, and patient’s case.

  1. Ketogenic diet
  2. Vagus nerve stimulation
  3. Responsive neurostimulation:

It is a device like a heart pacemaker. The drugs are placed in the bones covering the brain, and wires connected to the brain top with the device, where seizures originated. It gives small pulses of stimulation to the brain as a response to any abnormal activity. These can prevent the seizure before its beginning or stop its spreading from focal to a generalized seizure. They do not cause any pain or abnormal feelings. It is not permanent, and it can be removed or turned off.

In 2019 Epilepsy research revealed that Treatment with responsive neurostimulation reduces the frequency of seizures, is well tolerated, and is acceptably safe.

  1. Surgery:

It is always the last choice when all treatment fails to control the patient’s seizures.

Is there an herbal treatment for epileptic seizures?  What are they?

herbal treatment for epileptic seizures

Surprisingly, yes, there is. Many patients with epilepsy may show a great interest in the herbal treatment for their seizures. This patient’s attention may be due to the anti-epileptic medications’ inability to control their seizures. Or, to get rid of the side effects of anti-epileptic drugs. Here are the herbs with an anti-seizures impact which are: –

Herbs with anti-seizure activity:

  1. Cannabis Sativa:

Although, there is no sufficient number of trials that could prove its efficacy in treating or preventing seizure episodes and the concerns about its safety in the long-run.

It has an anti-seizure effect, especially in children with Dravet’s Syndrome (rare genetic epileptic encephalopathy) or Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (a rare and severe type of epilepsy that is characterized by frequent tonic seizures).

In 2019 epilepsy awareness and behavior revealed that an oral cannabidiol formulation has a potent seizure-reducing effect of relatively low doses among pediatric patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy over 12 weeks.

The anti-seizure effect of cannabis is due to active ingredients called cannabinoids, which have a role in decreasing the release of excitatory neurotransmitters in the central nervous system.

Here are the side effects of Cannabis Sativa: –

  • Fatigue.
  • Elevated liver enzymes.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Rashes.
  • Infections.
  1. Passionflower:

Passionflower extract has an anti-seizure effect. It is useful in absence seizure. The researchers believe that its mechanism of action might be due to its GABAergic and opioid effects.

Here are the side effects of passionflower: –

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • confusion.

You should not use it along with sedatives.

3. Nigella sativa:

The water extract of Nigella Sativa has an anti-epileptic effect in children with refractory seizures. It also has a neuronal protection effect.

In 2016 Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine revealed that the hydro-alcoholic extract of Nigella Sativa prevented neural damage as well as learning and memory impairments after pentylenetetrazole– induced repeated seizures in rats.

Here are the side effects of Nigella Sativa: –

  • stomach upset
  • vomiting
  • constipation.

Due to the insufficient studies about these herbs, and the lack of clear guidelines for the use of herbal remedies for epilepsy, the patient should never use any herbal remedy without asking the doctor.

To summarize up, yes, it is possible to have seizures today, and after a few years, you got entirely treated. It is possible to face several kinds of seizures during your life; however, not attacked by epilepsy. The frequent seizures indicate that your body is getting ready for an epileptic status. But the bright side is, you can ideally manage this case by following your doctor’s precautions and medications. Thus, if you do not diagnose as an epileptic patient, then cheer up and always have faith that you will pass this phase healthily.

Also, you shall keep your eyes wide open to the symptoms. So, you can avoid the seizures from getting over you. And always know that the right medication is for better health. Yes, you can try the herbal remedies. Some bodies, accept the herbs and show high efficacy on them than pills, you might be one of them. Thus, if you feel that there is no improvement while following your doctor’s medication, ask him for herbal trial. After all, in one way or another, your proper remedy is out there, so no need to panic J.

Follow us on our blog, and check our previous posts about epilepsy. I am sure that they are highly beneficial. Also, wait for our new engaging and debatable topic, which is migraine, we have a lot to say about, and several questions that we will answer.


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