What Causes Seizures in Adults with No History?

If you’re an adult with no history of seizures, what could cause them to suddenly start occurring? Here’s what you need to know.

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Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes recurrent seizures. A seizure is a sudden change in brain activity that causes a physical convulsion, change in behavior, or both. Epilepsy can be caused by a variety of factors, but in adults with no history of seizures, the most common cause is unknown.

Types of seizures

Most seizures last from 30 seconds to two minutes and do not cause lasting damage. However, seizures can be a symptom of a more serious condition.

There are two main types of seizures:

Partial (focal) seizures: These involve only a small area of the brain. They may produce changes in sensation, movement, feelings, or behavior. They can also occur without any noticeable symptoms.
Some people with partial seizures remain aware of their surroundings during the seizure. Others may stare off into space and not respond to questions or commands.

Generalized seizures: These involve most or all of the brain. There are six types:

Tonic-clonic: This used to be called grand mal seizure. It is the type that most people think of when they think of a seizure. Symptoms include loss of consciousness and muscle rigidity followed by jerking motions and then temporary post-seizure confusion.

Clonic: Jerking muscle movements affect the whole body or just a part of it.

Tonic: Muscle stiffness or rigidity affects the whole body or just a part of it.

Atonic: A sudden loss of muscle control causes the person to collapse or fall down.

Myoclonic: Sudden jerking muscles affect the whole body or just a part of it.

Absence (petit mal): A person with this type of seizure seems to be staring into space for a short time. There may be some twitching in one area of the face


There are many possible triggers for seizures in people with epilepsy. Some people are more sensitive to certain triggers than others.

Possible triggers for seizures include:

– missing a dose of medication
– drinking alcohol
– using illegal drugs
– being sleep deprived
– having a high fever
– experiencing intense emotional stress
– flickering lights or patterns


There are many different types of epilepsy, and each type has its own unique set of causes. idiopathic epilepsy, which is the most common type of epilepsy, has no known cause. However, there are many potential causes of seizures in adults with no history of seizures, including:

• Brain damage from a head injury or stroke

• Tumors or other abnormalities in the brain

• Infections of the brain, such as meningitis or encephalitis

• Drug abuse

• Withdrawal from certain types of drugs or alcohol

Brain Tumor

While seizures can have many different causes, a brain tumor is one of the more serious potential causes, especially in adults with no history of seizures. Brain tumors can cause seizures by putting pressure on the brain or by interfering with the normal electrical impulses that travel through the brain.

Types of brain tumors

There are many different types of brain tumors, each with their own set of symptoms and treatment options. The most common type of brain tumor is an glioma, which starts in the cells that surround and support nerve cells. Other common types of brain tumors include meningiomas, pituitary adenomas, and acoustic neuromas.

Symptoms of brain tumors can vary depending on the type of tumor and where it is located in the brain. Possible symptoms include headaches, seizures, nausea and vomiting, loss of balance or coordination, changes in vision or speech, and loss of sensation or movement in an arm or leg. In some cases, brain tumors can cause hydrocephalus, a condition in which fluid accumulates in the brain and puts pressure on the surrounding tissue.

Brain tumors are usually diagnosed through a combination of medical history, physical examination, neurological examination, imaging tests (such as MRI or CT scan), and biopsy (removal of a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope). Treatment options for brain tumors depend on the type of tumor, its location, and its stage (how far it has progressed). Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and palliative care.


Most brain tumors do not cause seizures, but some types are more likely to cause seizures than others. The most common type of brain tumor that causes seizures is a meningioma. Meningiomas are tumors that grow in the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Other types of brain tumors that can cause seizures include:

-Pineal tumors

In addition to seizures, brain tumors can also cause a variety of other symptoms, including:

-Nausea and vomiting
-Dizziness or balance problems
-Vision problems
-Personality changes or memory problems
-Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs


The most common treatment for brain tumors is surgery. However, not all brain tumors can be removed with surgery, and sometimes other treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, are needed.

If the tumor can be removed, the type of surgery performed will depend on the location of the tumor. For example, if the tumor is located in a difficult-to-reach area of the brain, a craniotomy (a type of brain surgery) may be necessary.

After surgery, you may need to stay in the hospital for a few days so that your doctors can monitor your condition and make sure that there are no complications from the surgery. You will likely have follow-up appointments with your doctor to check your progress and to discuss any other treatment that may be necessary.

Traumatic Brain Injury

A seizure is a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. It can cause changes in your behavior, your movement, your feelings, and your level of consciousness. Seizures can have many different causes. One cause of seizures is traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Types of TBI

There are many types of TBI, all of which can cause seizures. The most common type of TBI is a concussion, which is a mild brain injury. A concussion can occur after a blow to the head or after a sudden stop, such as in a car accident. Even a fall can cause a concussion. Symptoms of a concussion may include headache, confusion, nausea, balance problems, or sleepiness. A seizure after a concussion is rare but can occur.

Other types of TBI include:

Contusion: A contusion is a bruise on the brain. A contusion happens when the brain hits the skull hard enough to break blood vessels. A contusion usually happens along with a skull fracture. A seizure can occur soon after the injury or days to weeks later.

Penetration: Penetration injuries happen when an object pierces the skull and enters the brain tissue. Gunshot wounds and knife wounds are examples of penetration injuries. Seizures often occur soon after this type of TBI.

Anoxic: An anoxic brain injury is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain . This can happen if you stop breathing for even a short time or if your heart stops beating for even a short time . Seizures often occur soon after this type of TBI .


TBI can cause a wide range of short- or long-term effects, depending on the severity of the injury. Effects of TBI can include problems with:
-Thinking (cognition)
-Sensation (perception)
-Language (communication)
-Emotion (behavior or mood)

People who have suffered a TBI may have difficulty with any or all of these issues. A mild TBI may result in only short-term effects, while a more severe injury may cause lifelong impairments.


The goal of treatment for traumatic brain injury (TBI) is to minimize brain damage and encourage healing. Seizures are a common complication of TBI, so treatment typically focuses on preventing or minimizing them.

There are two main types of seizure medication: antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and anticonvulsants. AEDs are the most commonly prescribed type of seizure medication and are typically used to prevent seizures in people with TBI. Anticonvulsants are typically used to treat seizures that have already occurred.

Some common AEDs used to prevent seizures in people with TBI include:
-Valproic acid

Some common anticonvulsants used to treat seizures that have already occurred include:

Drug or Alcohol Withdrawal

It’s important to know that not all seizures are caused by epilepsy. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 10% of seizures are caused by alcohol or drug withdrawal. Withdrawal seizures usually occur in people who have been drinking heavily for many years or who use drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine.

Types of withdrawal symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can be physical or psychological, and they vary depending on the drug or substance you’re dependent on. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they can last for a few days or weeks. Some people may experience long-term effects from withdrawal, such as anxiety or depression.

Physical withdrawal symptoms may include:
– headaches
– nausea and vomiting
– diarrhea
– sweating
– increased heart rate
– increased blood pressure
– tremors
– seizures (in severe cases)

Psychological withdrawal symptoms may include:
– anxiety
– depression
– irritability
– difficulty concentrating
– insomnia


There are many potential triggers for seizures in adults with no history of seizures or epilepsy. These triggers can include:

-Drug or alcohol withdrawal
-An infection, such as meningitis
-A brain tumor
-A head injury
-A stroke

In some cases, the cause of seizures in adults with no history of seizures or epilepsy is unknown. This is referred to as idiopathic epilepsy.


Your doctor will likely recommend a gradual withdrawal from the drug or alcohol, which may help to prevent or lessen the severity of seizure activity.1 If you have been abusing alcohol, your doctor may also recommend a detoxification program as part of your treatment plan.2

In some cases, anticonvulsant medications may be prescribed to help prevent seizures.3 If you have a history of seizures, your doctor may also recommend long-term seizure prevention therapy.4

It is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for treatment and seek immediate medical attention if you experience any seizure activity.

Sleep Deprivation

Seizures are often brought on by sleep deprivation. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body and brain can’t function properly. This can lead to a seizure.

Types of sleep deprivation

There are 3 types of sleep deprivation: partial, total, and selective.
-Partial sleep deprivation is when you do not get enough sleep, but you still sleep for some part of the 24-hour day.
-Total sleep deprivation is when you do not sleep at all for 24 hours or more.
-Selective sleep deprivation is when you only miss certain types of sleep, such as REM (rapid eye movement) or deep sleep.


Sleep deprivation can cause a number of seizure symptoms in adults with no history of seizures, including:

-sleep paralysis


There are a number of ways to treat sleep deprivation, depending on the cause. If you have a sleep disorder, your doctor may prescribe medication or suggest behavioral changes. If your sleep deprivation is caused by lifestyle factors, you may need to make some lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise, managing stress better, or making sure you get enough sleep each night.

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