The causes of seizures are many, and a number of other conditions can mimic seizures, making careful evaluation of seizurelike episodes critical. Febrile seizures are the most common type of seizure in children, and their management is usually the task of the general pediatrician. Status epilepticus constitutes an emergency situation that can have severe consequences and requires skilled therapy.

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Seizures (sometimes called epileptic seizures) are the stereotypical clinical manifestations (signs and symptoms) of excessive synchronous, usually self-limited, abnormal electrical activity of neurons situated in the cerebral cortex. Epilepsy is defined as 2 or more unprovoked afebrile seizures (International League Against Epilepsy). Although both children who have normal development and children who have developmental delay can display unusual movements, the clinical signs (semiology) of epileptic seizures have specific stereotypical features.

At the cellular level, ordinarily the neurons of the cerebral cortex fire...

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