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What are some medical causes of seizures?

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Quick Answer

Common causes of seizures include missing medication doses, heavy alcohol use, lack of sleep and drug use, says WebMD. These factors are especially likely to trigger seizures in people with epilepsy.

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Additional causes of seizures include a high fever, low blood sugar, electrolyte imbalance and drug withdrawal, states epilepsy and seizures expert Dr. Reza Shouri for About.com. Some causes of seizures can be corrected quickly while others require lifelong therapy.

Various types of seizures may look very different, explains Shouri. Generalized tonic clonic seizures occur with a jerking and stiffening of the whole body. Absence seizures make a person look as if he is staring into nothing. In some seizures, only a twitching of a finger or singular body part is displayed.

Common causes of epilepsy, a condition in which a person experiences multiple seizures, include low oxygen during birth, brain injury during infancy or young adulthood, brain tumors and certain genetic conditions. However, as of 2015, in up to 70 percent of adults and children with epilepsy, no official cause has been found, according to WebMD. Seizures happen when the brain has a burst of electrical impulses that escapes its usual limits. The impulses transmit into the muscles, creating twitching or convulsing.

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