What are absence and petit mal seizures?

Petit mal Sz. Petit mal seizure is an old term for absence seizure. There is interruption of consciousness where the person becomes unresponsive for up to half a minute, sometimes with slight muscle twitching.

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What are absence (petit mal) seizures?

Staring spells. A child with absence seizures will stop what they are doing once in a while, stare into space, and then resume activity without noticing the break. An EEG while sleep-deprived and/or hyperventilating shows characteristic changes, which a neurologist can use to confirm the diagnosis. It is usually treatable. Read more...
Staring spells. Absence seizures appear as if the child is staring into space. They are most common in the school age child and can happen at any time. The child will stop mid sentence and look like they are staring for 30-40 seconds and then pick up where they left off. They may not even realize what is happening. Read more...