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Petit Mal Seizures

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How do petit mal seizures cause damage to brain structures? How might brain plasticity play a role in recovery from petit mal seizures?

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WHAT IS PETIT MAL SEIZURE?

A petit mal seizure is a temporary disturbance of brain function caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain and characterized by abrupt, short-term lack of conscious activity ("absence") or other abnormal change in behavior.
Repeated stimulation of the pathways of the limbic, cortex, subcortical and brain stem regions (either chemically or electrically) induces a progressive sequence of long-lasting cellular and molecular alterations at all levels of biological organization in neural circuits, from gene transcription to patterns of neuronal connectivity (Sutula, 2004). Therefore, it can be assumed that seizures have an effect on the entire body, commensurate with the idea of neural plasticity

Anti-convulsant medication is mostly prescribed for individuals suffering from seizures. They may slow psychomotor development and following successful surgical treatment, these drugs may be stopped. But the corresponding slowness is overcome due to the ability of different parts of the brain to adapt to new responsibilities.

Petit mal seizures usually occur in childhood. Due to the sudden bursts of ...

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classroom management case

Max Laird is a sixth-grade teacher in a middle-class suburban school. After school, Mr. Laird finds a note in his in-box indicating that the principal and the special education resource room teacher want to meet with him the next day before students arrive. At the meeting the next day, his principal, Dr. Gattelaro, explains to him that a new student, Chris Erickson, will be placed in his class the following Monday morning. Mr. Laird is informed that Chris is slightly above average in academics and a personable young man. However, Dr. Gattelaro wants Mr. Laird to know that Chris has epilepsy and occasionally has grand mal seizures. Although the seizures are generally under control through medication, there is a good possibility that sometime during the school year Chris will have a seizure in the classroom. At this time, Ms. Chong, the resource room teacher, describes grand mal seizures. She explains that they are the most evident and serious type of epileptic seizure. They can be disturbing and frightening to anyone who has never seen one. Chris would have little or no warning that a seizure was about to occur. During a seizure, Chris's muscles will stiffen, and he will lose consciousness and fall to the floor. His whole body will shake violently as his muscles alternately contract and relax. Saliva may be forced from his mouth, his legs and arms may jerk, and his bladder and bowels may empty. After a few minutes, the contractions will diminish and Chris will either go to sleep or regain consciousness in a confused and drowsy state (Heward, 1996). Stunned at this information, Mr. Laird sits in silence as Ms. Chong briefs him about the procedures to take if a seizure occurs in the classroom. She also explains to him that he should inform the other students that the seizure is painless to Chris and that it is not contagious. Max Laird is aware that he has no option whether Chris will be in his class. He is determined to do the right thing and to make Chris's transition into his class as smooth as possible. He is also determined that he will help his class adjust and prepare for the likely seizure. Mr. Laird begins to map out a plan of action.

What should he say to Chris?

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