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A convulsion is a sudden, involuntary body movement caused by a brief disturbance in the brain's normal electrical activity. It is also known as a seizure. During a convulsion, the affected person may experience muscle spasms, loss of consciousness, and a temporary behavior change. The duration of a convulsion can range from a few seconds to several minutes.

A disruption in the normal electrical activity of the brain usually causes convulsions. Several factors, including a lack of oxygen, a head injury, a stroke, a tumor, or an infection, can cause this disruption. In addition, a reaction to certain medications or drugs can cause convulsions. In some cases, convulsions can be caused by a condition known as epilepsy, a brain disorder that causes recurrent seizures.

Convulsions can be dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible. If a person experiences a convulsion, it is important to remain calm and call for medical help. It is also important to note the duration and severity of the convulsion. If the convulsion lasts more than five minutes, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If a person experiences recurrent convulsions, it is necessary to seek medical attention. A doctor may order tests to determine the underlying cause of the convulsions.

Treatment for convulsions may include medications to control seizures, lifestyle changes, or surgery.

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  • Mayo Clinic. (2020). Seizures (convulsions). Retrieved from
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2020). Seizures and Epilepsy. Retrieved from