A generalized tonic-clonic seizure is a seizure involving the entire body. It is also called a grand mal seizure. Such seizures usually involve muscle rigidity, violent muscle contractions, and loss of consciousness.
Generalized tonic-clonic seizures are the type of seizure that most people associate with the term "seizure," convulsion, or epilepsy. They may occur in people of any age, as a single episode, or as part of a repeated, chronic condition (epilepsy).
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Many patients have an aura (a sensory warning sign) before the seizure. This can include vision, taste, smell, or sensory changes, hallucinations, or dizziness.
The seizure itself involves:
Almost all people lose consciousness, and most people have both tonic and clonic muscle activity.
After the seizure, the person usually has:
For more information about diagnosis and treatment, see:
Seizure - tonic-clonic; Seizure - grand mal; Grand mal seizure; Seizure - generalized