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Absence Seizures (Petit Mal)

An absence seizure (formerly classified as petit mal), is a very uncommon seizure that begins suddenly and occurs without any warning signs.

People experiencing absence seizures typically appear to stare without moving. Usually lasting less than 15 seconds, absence seizures can occur many times a day and may be mistaken for daydreaming.

While the patient may not remember what happened during the seizure, they’ll typically return to being instantly alert as soon as the seizure is finished.

Treatment of absence (petit mal) seizures

There is no one treatment method for any patient with a seizure disorder. Each treatment plan is tailored to the individual patient based on their diagnosis and symptoms. Treatment options may include medical therapy, nerve stimulation, dietary therapy, or surgery, as appropriate. Clinical trials may also be a valuable treatment alternative.

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For more information about absence seizures or to meet with our doctors, request an appointment at the Epilepsy Center.

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