With prominent motor abnormalities

  • Movement disorders (myoclonus, tremors, chorea, tics, dystonic reactions)
  • Structural disease (decerebrate, decorticate posturing)
  • Psychiatric disorders (pseudoseizure/conversion, acute psychosis)

Usually "nonconvulsive"

  • Epilepsy-related disorders (postictal state, periodic lateralized epileptiform discharges with acute structural lesions)
  • Acute encephalopathies (toxic, metabolic-e.g., hypoglycemia, organ failure, delirium related to drugs, alcohol, or infection)
  • Psychiatric disorders (catatonia, acute psychosis)
  • Sleep disorders (narcolepsy, cataplexy, parasomnias)
  • Syncope (cardiac, vagal, hypovolemic; medication toxicity)
  • Vascular disease (strokes, transient ischemic attacks)
  • Head injury (stupor, coma, amnesia)
  • Transient global amnesia (usually clears quickly; rare recurrence)

Adapted from: Drislane FW. Status epilepticus. In: Schachter SC, Schomer DL, eds. The comprehensive evaluation and treatment of epilepsy. San Diego, CA: Academic Press; 1997. p. 149-172. With permission from Elsevier (www.elsevier.com).

Authored By: 
Frank W. Drislane MD
Reviewed By: 
Thaddeus Walczak MD
Thursday, January 1, 2004