What are absence seizures?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: David Y Ko, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Absence seizures are brief episodes of impaired consciousness with no aura or postictal confusion. They typically last less than 20 seconds and are accompanied by few or no automatisms. Of the automatisms that develop, the facial ones are most common, with repetitive blinking occurring most often. Hyperventilation or photic stimulation frequently precipitates these seizures, which typically begin during childhood or adolescence and may persist into adulthood.


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