Driver Safety Information Lapse of consciousness disorders Glossary

This glossary provides a list of words that may be seen on medical documentation.

  • Aura
    Some people with epilepsy are usually able to predict the onset of a seizure. The warning sign, or aura, is a simple partial seizure that may or may not precede other types of seizures. The aura may be a tingling sensation, a buzzing noise, or just a funny feeling in the head, stomach, or chest. Some people experience nausea, dizziness, impaired vision, or hear peculiar sounds.
  • Diurnal Seizure
    A seizure that occurs while a person is awake.
  • Episode
    A transitory occurrence which may include, but not be limited to:

    1. A lapse of consciousness or control
    2. Blackout
    3. Cataplexy
    4. Seizure
    5. Syncope
    6. Drop attacks
  • Etiology
    The cause of the disease.
  • Isolated Episode
    A lapse of consciousness experienced for the first time. It is usually symptomatic to another situation or medical condition. It is unlikely that a second episode will be experienced.
  • Loss of Voluntary Motor Control
    Sudden loss of muscle control without loss of consciousness.
  • Nocturnal Seizure
    A seizure that occurs while a person is asleep.
  • Prodrome
    For several days or hours, an epileptic may feel vague anxiety or discomfort which is usually similar to past episodes to indicate an impending seizure. This period is called the prodrome. The prodrome is not thought to result from increased electrical activity in the brain, but its precise cause is unknown.
  • Seizure
    A change of behavior brought about by an abnormal discharge of neurons in the brain. An abrupt excessive abnormal electrical discharge manifested by motor, sensory, or emotional events.
  • Status Epilepticus
    Abnormally prolonged seizures. Status epilepticus may range from a severe absence seizure where the person is disoriented and confused, but able to walk and carry on basic functioning, to a severe tonic clonic seizure in which the person remains in a coma for four or more days. During status epilepticus, the patient may experience respiratory difficulties, extremely high body temperatures (106 degrees), cardiac and other bodily malfunctioning. Staus epilepticus is a medical emergency that may result in further damage to the brain and even death. Medical intervention is necessary.