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Old 04-04-2012, 12:10 AM   #1
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Is this seizure activity?

My son got stuck at birth and spent 17 days in the NICU. He had lack of oxygen and had a cool cap for 72 hours to help reduce the chance of brain damage and seizures. They were impressed when he didn't have any.

However, once I was allowed to hold him, he would twitch. It is extremely hard to explain, just very mild kicks and punches, if that makes any sense. It is always after he falls asleep, and in the hospital it would maybe last a few minutes. I showed the nurse and the only answer I got was "huh, that's interesting". He is now 18mo and still does it on occasion, sometimes at naps, but usually at bedtime. We Co-sleep, and he usually will twitch for a good 15 minutes now.

I should also mention he had a febral seizure around Thanksgiving, but he just went limp and grey (scary is an understatement...), but he never twitched or convulsed.

My cousin had mild epilepsy that she grew out of, and my husbands aunt had the same thing.

I am worried he is going undiagnosed with something serious that isn't causing problems now, but will hurt him down the line.

Does this seem like mini seizures or am I just being paranoid?

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Old 04-04-2012, 12:28 AM   #2
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Re: Is this seizure activity?

Infant seizures can look a lot different than what people often think of as a typical adult seizure. My youngest daughter had a similar start as your little guy. She was doing something very similar to what you are explaining, and I brought it up to her doctor who just kind responded with the typical "uh huh, sounds normal." I ended up looking up infant seizures on youtube. The were soooo hard to watch. I remember just sitting there, pretty much torturing myself watching video after video with tears coming down as I realized what my baby was doing was similar to the seizures I was seeing on the screen. I pushed it with the doctor, she sent us to a neurologist, and the neurologist ordered an MRI and EEG. Sure enough, she was having seizures. You should look up a couple videos, and you will see if it is similar to your baby. It looks much more rhythmic than you would expect, with usually the hand or the foot (or both) moving. With your little guy, it really could be something normal. On the other hand, it may not. Push it with your doctor. An EEG is not a horribly expensive test, and is not too traumatic or anything. If anything, it will give you some reassurance. I hope that helps some.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:32 AM   #3
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Re: Is this seizure activity?

I forgot to say that one of my other daughters had two febrile seizures. They were very scary and looked more like what an adult seizure looks like. It did not look like the seizures my youngest had.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:46 AM   #4
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Re: Is this seizure activity?

Is there a way you could tape the twitches and show them to your doctor? My youngest used to twitch a bit in his sleep, but only when he was a newborn and I read that is normal as their central nervous system is still developing. I would be concened about a much older infant doing it and 15 minutes seems long. Both of my kids has a seizure (febrile run in our family) at 15 months and 2 years of age and they were grand mal lasting a minute or too. Our neurologist said anything more than 5 minutes warrants an ER trip. When he does his twitching, is he breathing? Does he look dusky/bluish at all?

I know how scary seizures can be. I hope you get some answers for your little one.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:41 AM   #5
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He had an EEG while in the NICU, but I know he wasn't twitching during it (i think it was just to "check things out" since they were worried about brain damage).

I looked at YouTube, I don't think that's what he has then. It only happens when he is sleeping, and it's not full body usually just an arm or leg at a time, and he never stops breathing or turns colors.

Thank you for your responses.

I don't know what else it could be then :/
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:22 PM   #6
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Re: Is this seizure activity?

Hi, my daughter has myoclonic jerks while sleeping and she has had them since birth. Myoclonic jerks in children sound exactly what your saying. My daughter though at 35 months started having grand mal seizures in the morning (not often). Seizures are apart of her syndrome aswell (Mowat-Wilson Syndrome) I am in no way saying it will lead to seizures. If it does concern you that they might actually be seizures then request a 24-48 EEG (so they can catch it while sleeping). Hugs!
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:49 PM   #7
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Re: Is this seizure activity?

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Originally Posted by jessica2229 View Post
Hi, my daughter has myoclonic jerks while sleeping and she has had them since birth. Myoclonic jerks in children sound exactly what your saying. My daughter though at 35 months started having grand mal seizures in the morning (not often). Seizures are apart of her syndrome aswell (Mowat-Wilson Syndrome) I am in no way saying it will lead to seizures. If it does concern you that they might actually be seizures then request a 24-48 EEG (so they can catch it while sleeping). Hugs!
Thank you I just looked up myoclonic jerks, and it seems I tend to do that as well, but not while sleeping, just when I force myself to relax (geez this is hard to explain, lol), and it's usually in my neck/shoulders/upper arms. Wikipedia (the most holy places for information ) says it can be helped by increase of calcium, and come to think of it, we don't eat much dairy... Again, thank you He has a doctors appointment next week, I'll have to remind myself to ask about it.
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:25 PM   #8
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Re: Is this seizure activity?

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Originally Posted by LillyIvy View Post
Thank you I just looked up myoclonic jerks, and it seems I tend to do that as well, but not while sleeping, just when I force myself to relax (geez this is hard to explain, lol), and it's usually in my neck/shoulders/upper arms. Wikipedia (the most holy places for information ) says it can be helped by increase of calcium, and come to think of it, we don't eat much dairy... Again, thank you He has a doctors appointment next week, I'll have to remind myself to ask about it.
My DH has them aswell! As he is falling asleep and they can be some hard jerks.
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Old 04-07-2012, 01:11 AM   #9
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Re: Is this seizure activity?

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Originally Posted by LillyIvy View Post
He had an EEG while in the NICU, but I know he wasn't twitching during it (i think it was just to "check things out" since they were worried about brain damage).

I looked at YouTube, I don't think that's what he has then. It only happens when he is sleeping, and it's not full body usually just an arm or leg at a time, and he never stops breathing or turns colors.

Thank you for your responses.

I don't know what else it could be then :/
Personally, if you have any concern about your son's movements, I'd have him checked out by a neurologist and have an EEG done. An EEG can pick up spikes that indicate a seizure disorder even when you're not actively having a seizure. Seizures can take many different forms, too. My son has both generalized and focal seizures, some with limb movement - a couple of times all of his limbs, but usually just one or two, some with just mouth or eye movement, and some (most common for him) where he's as still as a statue and just stares. Sometimes he's completely unresponsive, but sometimes when he has a focal seizure, we can say his name and he'll turn toward us and mumble, but can't really talk.

He was just diagnosed last fall and I've been kicking myself ever since we got the diagnosis for not thinking about it sooner. His most common present as brief (10-30 second) staring spells followed by a headache and really bad fatigue. We finally had the EEG done after three years of trying to figure out why he was complaining of headaches nearly every day and falling asleep every time he sat still for more than two or three minutes. Now I can clearly remember him having these seizures (often during school work) and me being frustrated with his inattention and blaming it on his ADHD because I didn't know better. I think he was probably having at least a dozen short seizures every day. The difference in his ability to learn now that he's medicated and not missing multiple little chunks of time out of his day is amazing (and makes me really sad, thinking that he could have been doing this well for the 3 years that he struggled so badly, too.)

My 1 yo has recently had a few staring spells, too - not enough that I'd probably even think twice about it if not for his brother's history, but we were on the phone to schedule him with the neurologist the second time we saw it (after the first, I tried to convince myself I was just paranoid). I don't want to be the overly anxious parent, but when it comes to seizures, I've learned the hard way that it's definitely better to test and find out all is well than to not test and later wish you had.
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Last edited by dirtmagnets; 04-07-2012 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:01 AM   #10
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Re: Is this seizure activity?

Definitely have her checked out if you are worried. My almost 6 week old just got out of the hospital this past Monday cause of shaking and jerking in her arms and legs. She's now on phenobarbital. She definitely has seizures, and personally I'd rather look like an over protective parent and it be nothing then take the risk.
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