Petit mal seizure

Alternative Names

Seizure – petit mal; Absence seizure; Seizure – absence

Definition of Petit mal seizure

A petit mal seizure is the term commonly given to a staring spell, most commonly called an “absence seizure.” It is a brief (usually less than 15 seconds) disturbance of brain function due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Symptoms

Most petit mal seizures last only a few seconds. Most commonly they involve staring episodes or “absence spells.”

Review

Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, and Department of Anatomy at UCSF, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 1/23/2010

Central nervous system

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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