Seizures After Stroke

Seizures after stroke
Seizures after stroke can occur, especially if the stroke affects the brain’s temporal or frontal lobe. These seizures, called post-stroke or post-ictal seizures, typically occur within the first week after the stroke and may be a sign of underlying brain damage. The risk of seizures after a stroke depends on the following factors:
  • The person’s age: Older people are more likely to experience seizures after a stroke.
  • The stroke’s severity and where it occurred:: Seizures are more likely to occur after a stroke that affects the brain’s temporal lobe or frontal lobe.
  • The person’s medical history: People who have had a stroke are more likely to experience seizures after a subsequent stroke.
  • Other medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, may increase the risk of seizures after a stroke.
Discussing the risk of seizures with a healthcare provider after a stroke and the potential treatment options is important. But first, let’s have a basic understanding of a stroke.

What Is A Stroke

A medical condition known as a stroke occurs when there is a disruption in the normal flow of blood to the brain, which results in the death of brain cells. The effects of a stroke can last for the rest of a person’s life in most instances, although in rare circumstances, it may just be temporary.  Some of the symptoms and signs of this condition are as follows:
  • Dizziness
  • Insensitivity or a lack of strength on one side of the body (usually the arm, leg, or face)
  • Absence or impairment of eyesight in one or both eyes
  • Failed coordination
  • Difficulty with verbal communication or comprehension

What Are the Different Types Of Strokes?

There are two main types of stroke – Ischemic stroke and haemorrhagic stroke. Although both types of stroke may share similar symptoms, their underlying causes and consequent therapies are quite different.  The main distinctions between ischemic and haemorrhagic strokes are outlined here:

Ischemic Stroke

Haemorrhagic Stroke

Occurs when a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain becomes blocked, usually by a blood clot. Occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts and bleeds into the surrounding tissue.
Is the most common type of stroke, accounting for about 87% of all strokes. Is less common than ischemic stroke, but it is often more severe and can be more difficult to treat.
Can be caused by conditions such as high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, and a history of heart disease or stroke. Can be caused by conditions such as high blood pressure, aneurysms, and AVMs (arteriovenous malformations).
Can be treated with medications to dissolve the blood clot and restore blood flow to the brain, as well as supportive care to manage symptoms and prevent complications. Treatment may include medications to control bleeding and reduce pressure in the brain, as well as surgery to repair the damaged blood vessel.

Treatment For A Stroke

The treatment for a stroke depends on the type of stroke and the severity of the symptoms. 

In general, stroke treatment aims to restore blood flow to the brain as quickly as possible to minimise brain damage and maximise the chances of a full recovery.

Treatment for ischemic stroke, the most frequent type of stroke, may involve the following:

  • Medications to dissolve the blood clot and restore blood flow to the brain. Clot-busting drugs, known as thrombolytics, are only effective if administered quickly after stroke symptoms appear.
  • Some patients may also be prescribed drugs to control symptoms, such as high blood pressure or irregular heart rhythms, or to lower the likelihood of experiencing a second stroke.

Haemorrhagic stroke is less common but typically more severe than other types of stroke and may require the following treatments:

  • Medications to control bleeding and reduce pressure in the brain. 
  • Surgery may also be needed to repair the damaged blood vessel.

In addition to specific treatment for the stroke, supportive care may be needed to manage complications such as:

  • Infection, pressure ulcers, and blood clots. 
  • Rehabilitation may also be necessary to help the person recover as much function as possible and regain their independence.
Medications for stroke

What Preventative Steps May Be Taken To Lower The Risk Of Stroke? 

  • Eating a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins will help minimise your chance of having a stroke. Avoiding processed and high-fat foods can also help.
  • Hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke. You can help control your blood pressure by eating a healthy diet low in salt and saturated fat, doing regular physical activity, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Smoking increases your risk of stroke and many other health problems. Quitting smoking can improve your health and lower your risk of stroke if you are a smoker.
  • Regular physical activity can help lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol levels, and reduce your risk of stroke. Aim to engage in moderately intense physical activity for at least half an hour on most days of the week.
  • If you have diabetes, high cholesterol, or other health conditions that increase your risk of stroke, it’s important to manage these conditions with the help of your healthcare team. This may include taking medications as prescribed, following a healthy lifestyle, and getting regular check-ups.
  • Drinking too much alcohol increases your stroke risk, so moderation is key. It’s recommended that men have no more than two drinks per day and women have no more than one drink per day.

What Is A Seizure

The term “seizure” refers to an episode of sudden and uncontrollable electrical disruption in the brain. There is a wide range of symptoms that can bring, which vary according to the type of seizure and the region of the brain affected. 


Some common symptoms of seizures may include:

  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Unusual sensations or emotions
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Uncontrollable jerking or shaking of the arms and legs
  • Loss of consciousness or awareness
  • Staring spells

There are several potential triggers for seizures, including the following:

  • Head injuries: Traumatic brain injuries, such as those caused by car accidents or falls, can lead to seizures.
  • Brain tumours: Tumours that develop in the brain can sometimes cause seizures.
  • Certain medications: Some medications, such as those used to treat epilepsy and mental health conditions, can cause seizures as a side effect.
  • Epilepsy: The neurological condition known as epilepsy is characterised by recurrent seizures. It is by far the most prevalent factor that can bring on seizures.
  • Other medical conditions: Other medical conditions, such as stroke, low blood sugar, and kidney or liver failure, can also cause seizures.

If you have a seizure, you should get medical help since the underlying reason may need to be treated. Seizures can have devastating effects; taking medication to control the symptoms and avoid further attacks may be necessary.

What Are The Different Types Of Seizures?

There are many distinct types of seizures, all of which can be arranged into one of two primary groups: generalised or partial.

  • Generalised seizures- involve the whole brain and can be further divided into several subtypes, including:
  • Absence seizures (formerly called petit mal seizures): Brief unconsciousness and bouts of staring or fluttering eyelids are common symptoms of these types of seizures.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures (formerly named grand mal seizures): Absence of awareness is the first symptom of these seizures, followed by rigidity (tonic phase) of the muscles and jerking or shaking movements (clonic phase).
  • Atonic seizures (also known as drop attacks): Seizures like these cause a sudden weakening of the muscles, which might result in a fall.
  • Clonic seizures: These seizures involve repeated and rhythmic jerking or shaking of the muscles.
  • Tonic seizures: The rigidity of the muscles is characteristic of these seizures.
  • Myoclonic seizures: These are characterised by involuntary muscular spasms. Typically, their duration is too short to impact awareness, and they pass rapidly. Myoclonic seizures can have both a generalised and a localised onset.
  • Partial seizures: It involves a specific part of the brain and can be further divided into two subtypes:
  •  Simple partial seizures: These seizures do not cause a loss of consciousness; however, they may create strange sensory alterations or changes in behaviour.
  •  Complex partial seizures (also known as temporal lobe seizures): It may produce strange behaviour or motions, often including a loss of consciousness or altered awareness.

What Is The Seizure Treatment?

Here is a summary of the most important aspects of seizure treatment:

  • Some seizures can be managed with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). These drugs work by stabilising the electrical activity in the brain and can help prevent future seizures.
  • If a person has recurrent seizures or epilepsy, they may need to take AEDs on a long-term basis to control their seizures. Surgery may be required in certain instances to remove the portion of the brain that triggers the seizures.
  • Suppose a person is experiencing a seizure for the first time. In that case, they may be given medication to stop it and prevent future seizures. Hospitalisation for observation and additional tests to identify the source of the seizures may be necessary for some circumstances.
  • Supportive care may be needed to manage complications such as injury, infection, and other medical conditions. Rehabilitation may also be necessary to help the person regain function and independence.
Seizure treatment

How Can You Lower Your Seizure Risk?

You can lower your risk of having seizures by doing several different steps, including the following:
  • If you have been prescribed antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) to control your seizures, it’s important to take them as directed. Skipping doses or stopping your medicine suddenly can increase your risk of seizures.
  • Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider can help manage your seizure disorder effectively.
  • Insufficient rest, alcohol intake, and even some prescription drugs have all been linked to increased seizure risk in some patients with epilepsy. You can lower your risk of having a seizure by avoiding these things.
  • If you have a seizure problem, it is strongly suggested that you always wear a medical alert necklace or bracelet that describes your condition. It can assist in ensuring that you receive adequate medical care during a seizure.
  • Lack of sleep can bring on seizures in some people, so it’s important to get enough of it. The likelihood of experiencing seizures can be reduced by getting enough sleep.
  • It is essential to treat additional health issues with the support of your healthcare team if you have them, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. As a result, your probability of having seizures will decrease.
These steps can help reduce your risk of seizures and improve your overall health. Working with your healthcare team to develop a plan to manage your seizure disorder and reduce your risk of seizures is important.

Compare And Contrast The Mortality Risk Of Seizure VS Stroke

Both seizures and strokes are potentially fatal medical conditions. The likelihood of death from each illness varies greatly depending on several factors, including but not limited to the following: 
  • The intensity of the stroke or seizure
  • The underlying cause, and
  • Condition of a person’s health as a whole
  • The mortality risk associated with seizures may be increased if the seizure lasts for an extended period, if the individual has never experienced a seizure before, or if the individual has specific medical conditions such as diabetes or pregnancy.
  • Seizures themselves are usually not life-threatening.
  • Some seizures, especially those that cause loss of consciousness, can be dangerous because the person may fall and injure themselves.
  • The mortality rate for stroke is higher than for seizure. However, the rate can vary depending on the type of stroke (ischemic or haemorrhagic) and the person’s overall health.
  • It is crucial to obtain treatment for a stroke as soon as possible because the longer it goes untreated, the more brain damage can develop.
  • Strokes can be more serious and life-threatening because they cause brain damage and other serious problems.
  • Strokes can also lead to complications such as paralysis, difficulty speaking or swallowing, and problems with memory and thinking.

Differences Between Stroke And Seizures

Here’s a table that contrasts the symptoms of stroke vs seizure:
Feature Stroke Seizure
Description A disruption of blood flow to the brain, leading to a loss of brain function. A sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain.
Causes A clot blocking a blood vessel in the brain (ischemic stroke), bleeding in the brain (haemorrhagic stroke), or reduced blood flow to the brain (transient ischemic attack or “mini-stroke”). Abnormal brain activity, often due to a medical condition such as epilepsy.
Sign Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, difficulty speaking or understanding, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, sudden severe headache. Uncontrollable muscle spasms or jerking movements, loss of consciousness, altered behaviour or awareness, temporary confusion.
Medical Treatment Emergency medical treatment is needed to restore blood flow to the brain and prevent brain damage. This may include medications to dissolve blood clots, surgery to remove clots or repair blood vessels, or a procedure to open blocked arteries. Treatment may include medications to control or prevent seizures, surgery to remove the part of the brain causing seizures, or therapy to help the person cope with seizures and related issues.

Can A Stroke Cause Seizures?

Seizures are a possible complication of a stroke; however, it is crucial to emphasise that not all strokes will cause them. Here are some points explaining how a stroke can cause seizures:

  • A stroke can also cause changes in brain chemistry, increasing the likelihood of seizures. For example, a stroke can cause an imbalance of electrolytes in the brain, such as sodium or potassium, which can trigger seizures.
  • A stroke can also cause a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain, which can lead to seizures. This can occur when the stroke blocks or narrows a blood vessel, reducing the oxygen and nutrients delivered to the brain.
  • A stroke can cause damage to brain tissue, which can lead to seizures. This can occur when the stroke affects a specific brain area, such as the temporal lobe, responsible for controlling seizures.

Stroke Seizures And Death

Seizures can be a complication of stroke and have serious consequences. Seizures that occur after a stroke can be more severe and more difficult to control than seizures that occur in people who have not had a stroke. Seizures can also increase the risk of death after a stroke.

There are a few ways in which seizures can increase the risk of death after a stroke:

  • First, seizures can cause further damage to the brain, which can worsen the effects of the stroke and make recovery more difficult. 
  • Second, seizures can cause a person to fall or injure themselves, leading to further complications. 
  • Finally, seizures can cause a person to stop breathing, leading to brain damage and death.

Treatment for seizures, such as medication or surgery, can help to control the seizures and reduce the risk of death.

Life Expectancy After Stroke And Seizure

The life expectancy after a stroke depends on several factors, including the stroke’s severity, the person’s age, and the presence of other medical conditions. Stroke mortality is highest in the initial weeks after the event and gradually declines.

The presence of seizures after a stroke can also affect life expectancy. Seizures can cause further damage to the brain, which can worsen the effects of the stroke and make a recovery more difficult. Seizures can also increase the risk of death after a stroke, as they can cause a person to fall, injure themselves, or stop breathing.

That being said, it is difficult to predict the exact life expectancy of an individual after a stroke and seizure. It will depend on the individual’s specific circumstances and how well they respond to treatment. It is important to work with a healthcare team to develop a treatment plan and manage any complications that may arise.

Can Seizures After Stroke Cause Skin Allergies?

Seizures after stroke can cause various symptoms but generally do not cause allergies.

The following is a comparison between seizures after stroke and skin allergies:

Seizures After StrokeSkin Allergies
Caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brainCaused by the immune system reacting to a specific substance
Can cause a variety of symptoms, including changes in skin colour or textureCan cause symptoms such as rash, redness, itching, and swelling
Changes in skin colour or texture are not typically classified as allergiesInvolve the immune system reacting to a specific substance, such as pollen or certain foods

It is important to note that while seizures after stroke can cause skin colour or texture changes, these changes are not the same as an allergic reaction. If you see changes in your skin after a stroke and are afraid that you have an allergic response, you should consult a medical specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment For Post Stroke Seizure

Treatment for post-stroke seizures may include the following:

  • Antiepileptic medications, such as carbamazepine or valproic acid, can help control and prevent future seizures. The specific medication and dosage will be tailored to the individual’s needs.
  •  Making certain changes can also help reduce the risk of seizures after a stroke. For example, getting enough sleep, avoiding triggers that may lead to seizures (such as alcohol or caffeine), and managing stress can all help to reduce the risk of seizures.
  • Seizures can sometimes be treated by surgically removing the area of the brain responsible for them.This is typically only considered if the seizures are not well-controlled with medications or if the seizures are causing significant problems for the individual.
  • Rehabilitation after a stroke can also help to manage seizures and improve overall outcomes. Rehabilitation may include physical, occupational, and speech therapy, among other interventions.
  • Close monitoring by a healthcare team, including regular follow-up visits and seizure activity monitoring, can help ensure the treatment plan is effective and make any necessary adjustments.

Working with a healthcare team to develop a treatment plan tailored to the individual’s needs is important. The treatment plan may need to be adjusted over time as the individual’s needs change.

Stroke Seizure And Paediatric First Aid For Kids

Children can experience strokes, but they are much less common in children than adults. Here are some points to consider regarding stroke seizures and paediatric first aid for kids:

  • Stay calm and reassure the child.
  • Keep the child safe by removing any nearby objects that could cause injury.
  • Do not try to hold the child down or stop their movements.
  • Place the child on their side in the recovery position to help them or breathe.
  • Stay with the child and monitor their breathing.
  • Dial 000 for emergency medical help if the seizure lasts longer than five minutes or the child has difficulty breathing.
  • It is critical for a child who has had a stroke to get medical attention because they may require additional therapy to help manage the consequences of the stroke and prevent further issues.

If you are unfamiliar with general information on seizure stroke first aid situations, you should seek the counsel of a licensed healthcare expert or first aid provider for a specific approach to follow in an emergency.