Seizure Clusters 101

What Are Seizure Clusters?

Understanding seizure clusters

Seizure clusters are described as seizures that happen one after the other over a short period of time. There is a recovery period between each seizure and a pattern that is different from the usual seizure pattern.

No two people experience seizure clusters in the same way

That’s why seizure clusters can be difficult to define by the people who experience them, their caregivers, and even healthcare providers. Recognizing seizure clusters is extremely important, because without treatment, they can lead to serious, long-term problems.

What words do people use to describe seizure clusters?

Seizure clusters are also called flurries, serial seizures, acute repetitive seizures, and bouts of increased seizure activity, among others. They all refer to seizures that happen one after the other over a short period of time.

Who has seizure clusters?

Anyone who has epilepsy can have seizure clusters even when taking antiepileptic medicines as directed. However, there are some people who may be at higher risk for seizure clusters. They are people who:

  • Have seizures that are not well controlled by medicine
  • Have experienced head trauma resulting in loss of consciousness
  • Have extratemporal epilepsy. In this type of epilepsy, the seizures start outside of the temporal lobes of the brain
  • Have a type of epilepsy that is caused by a past problem such as a brain injury, infection, or tumor
  • Have certain rare seizure disorders

Have you been experiencing seizure clusters?

You can help your healthcare team diagnose seizure clusters by keeping a seizure diary for recording your seizures. Your diary notes can help you and your healthcare professional see how you experience seizures over time.

With seizure clusters, there is a recovery period between each seizure and a pattern that is different from the usual seizure pattern. Your notes can help your healthcare professional to recognize these patterns.

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How do seizure clusters affect a person’s life?

Seizure clusters can have an impact on a person’s health and well-being. In fact, some people say that living with seizure clusters can influence all parts of life, including a person’s ability to drive, attend school, or maintain a job. They are also said to cause anxiety, worry, isolation, shame, and feelings of being drained, out of control, and overwhelmed. Since seizures in a cluster start and stop many times over a short period of time, some people say they can be hard to manage.

Seizure clusters can also affect caregivers and family members who are fearful that their loved ones may be injured during a seizure or may suffer permanent brain damage.

The information on this website offers help and hope to support people living with seizure clusters.

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