An epileptic attack is pathological uncontrolled electrical activity in the cells of the gray matter of the cerebral cortex, resulting in a temporary disruption of its normal functioning. Typically, the attack is accompanied by a change in consciousness, sensory disorders, as well as focal motor disorders or convulsions (generalized convulsive seizure with an involuntary contraction of the muscles of the entire body).
In young children, convulsive muscle contractions (clonic convulsions) or persistent contractions (tonic convulsions) often result from high body temperature or serve as a sign of some infectious diseases (especially when the infection spreads to the brain and its membranes).
Practically at any age, a seizure can serve as an indicator of a particular disease of the nervous system: epilepsy, tumors, neuroinfections, stroke, cerebrovascular trauma.
The cause of convulsive seizure may also be alcoholic (less often narcotic) abstinence – withdrawal syndrome, an overdose of certain medications, changing the regimen of taking anticonvulsant medications.
The optimal approach is aimed at eliminating the possible causes of symptomatic seizures. If a potential cause cannot be established, the use of anticonvulsants, usually after a second seizure, is indicated. The advisability of prescribing anticonvulsant therapy after one (sometimes single) seizure is debatable, potential risks and benefits should be discussed with the patient. Since the likelihood of a recurrence is small, treatment can be delayed until it occurs, especially in children. In children, some anticonvulsants cause significant problems with behavior and learning.