Seizure classification is a way of naming the many different types of epileptic seizures and putting them into groups.
In 2017, the International League Against Epilepsy revised its classification of seizures to make diagnosing and classifying seizures more accurate and simpler. Some of the words you may have heard to describe seizures, such as ‘tonic-clonic’ are still used while others, such as ‘partial’ and ‘grand mal’ are no longer used.
Doctors look at the following three things when classifying a seizure:
- Where in the brain the seizure starts (e.g. the onset)
- If the person is aware or not during the seizure
- Whether the seizure involves movement.
Most people will only have one or two seizure types. Sometimes a person with more complex or severe epilepsy may experience a number of different seizure types.