Difference Between a Stroke and a Seizure

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between a Stroke and a Seizure

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In the current medical field, new techniques and medications are being developed daily to cure ailments. New techniques and medicines have been used to treat stroke and seizures, two brain illnesses. However, one must determine if it is a stroke or a seizure before receiving treatment. Because the brain is involved in both of these medical diseases, there may be an overlap in their symptoms.

In this article, let’s understand the differences between a stroke and a seizure in detail.

Stroke vs Seizure

The primary distinction between a seizure and a stroke is that a person's brain stops functioning during a stroke, whereas during a seizure, the brain experiences a hyperactive phase. However, in both of these clinical scenarios, the patient's brain poses a threat that could result in death. To begin the appropriate course of therapy, it is crucial to distinguish between a stroke and a seizure. A stroke is a disorder of the brain where the cells have a propensity to die and the brain stops working as a result. It occurs when an artery becomes clogged, preventing blood from getting to the brain to supply oxygen and nutrients necessary for a healthy brain. However, during a seizure, the brain begins to operate excessively rather than stopping. Rapid firing of brain cells occurs as a result of a breakdown in the brain's electrical circuitry. The patient may begin to shake in this illness, either over their entire body or just a specific area.

Difference Between a Stroke and Seizure in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Stroke Seizure
The definition After a stroke, the brain progressively deteriorates and dies. The brain does not halt during a seizure. Overworking it.
The types Now, ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke are two different forms. Now, there are two types of seizures generally: one is the epileptic seizure and the other is the non-epileptic seizure.
The causes Blood clots, hypertension, and drug and pharmaceutical abuse. Fever, hypotension, and medicine.
The effects on the body A patient may become paralyzed. The body is not adversely affected.
The treatment The causes of a stroke, such as obesity, high cholesterol, etc., must be eliminated. Anti-seizure medications may be able to help.

What is a Stroke?

So, when the blood flow to a portion of the brain is blocked or diminished, brain tissue cannot receive oxygen and nutrients, which results in an ischemic stroke. In minutes, brain cells start to degenerate.

A stroke is a medical emergency, therefore getting help quickly is essential. Early intervention can lessen problems and brain damage. Pay close note to the moment the symptoms first appeared if you believe that you or someone you are with may be having a stroke. When administered quickly after a stroke starts, some therapy options are most successful.

Stroke symptoms and signs include:

  • Now, according to experts, difficulty communicating and hearing what others are saying. You can sound confused, slur words, or have trouble following conversations.
  • Also, facial, arm, or leg numbness or paralysis You might abruptly experience facial, arm, or leg paralysis, weakness, or numbness. Generally, only one part of the body is impacted. Attempt to simultaneously raise both of your arms above your head. You might be going to have a stroke if one of your arms starts to fall. When you attempt to laugh, one side of your mouth might also droop.
  • Also, vision issues in one or both eyes are important to note. One or both of your eyes may suddenly become blurry or black, or you may experience double vision.
  • Headache. A sudden, intense headache may be a sign that you are experiencing a stroke if it is accompanied by vomiting, wooziness, or altered consciousness.
  • You might trip or get unbalanced. A sudden loss of balance or dizziness is a potential symptom.

If you experience any stroke symptoms, even if they seem to come and go or go entirely, get emergency medical assistance. Do the following while thinking "FAST":

Face. Invite the subject to grin. Does the face sag on one side?

Arms. To raise both arms, request the person. Does one arm sag to the ground? Or may only one arm be raised?

Speech. Ask them to recite a short phrase. Is their speech slurred or off-putting?

Time. Make immediate contact with 911 or emergency medical assistance if you see any of these symptoms.

Make an immediate call to 911 or your local emergency number. Do not wait for symptoms to subside. Every second matters. The chance of brain damage and impairment increases with the length of time a stroke is left untreated.

When you believe someone you are with is experiencing a stroke, keep a close eye on them while you wait for emergency help.


Now, a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or a blood vessel leak or burst are the two basic causes of stroke (hemorrhagic stroke). Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), which are brief interruptions in blood supply to the brain that don't persist long, can occur in some persons.

Ischemic Stroke

The most typical kind of stroke is this one. It occurs when the blood arteries in the brain narrow or block, significantly reducing the amount of blood flow (ischemia). Fat deposits that accumulate in blood vessels or blood clots or other debris that move through the bloodstream, typically from the heart, and lodge in the blood vessels in the brain cause blocked or restricted blood arteries.

There is a need for more research, although preliminary findings suggest that COVID-19 infection may raise the risk of ischemic stroke.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

When a blood vessel in the brain leaks or ruptures, hemorrhagic stroke happens. There are numerous disorders that damage the blood vessels and can cause brain hemorrhages. Hemorrhagic stroke risk factors include:

  • Continually elevated blood pressure
  • Excessive use of blood thinners (anticoagulants)
  • Bulges around vulnerable areas of the blood vessel walls (aneurysms)
  • Trauma (such as a car accident)
  • Blood artery walls become weakened as a result of protein buildup (cerebral amyloid angiopathy)
  • Hemorrhage following an ischemic stroke

Now, a transient ischemic attack (TIA), also referred to as a ministroke, is a brief period of stroke-like symptoms. A TIA does not result in long-term harm. A TIA is brought on by a brief interruption in the blood flow to a portion of the brain, which could last only five minutes.

A clot or piece of debris restricts or obstructs blood flow to a portion of the nervous system, similar to how an ischemic stroke happens.

Even if you believe you had a TIA because your symptoms improved, seek emergency care. The symptoms alone cannot distinguish between a stroke and a transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA indicates that the artery going to the brain may be partially stopped or constricted. A TIA raises your chance of subsequently experiencing a full-blown stroke.

What is a Seizure?

An abrupt, uncontrolled electrical disruption in the brain is referred to as a seizure. Your actions, emotions, feelings, and consciousness levels may change as a result. Epilepsy is typically defined as having two or more unprovoked seizures that occur more than 24 hours apart.

There are numerous varieties of seizures, with symptoms and intensity varying. The location in the brain where a seizure starts and how far it spreads determine the type of seizure. The majority of seizures last between 30 and two minutes. A medical emergency is when a seizure lasts more than five minutes.

Less often than you may think, seizures occur. After a stroke, a closed head injury, an infection like meningitis, or another condition, seizures can occur. However, the reason for a seizure is frequently unknown.

The majority of seizure disorders are curable with medication, although seizure management can still have a big impact on your everyday life. The great news is that you may collaborate with your physician to find a balance between medication side effects and seizure control.

The signs and symptoms of a seizure might vary depending on the type of seizure and can be mild to severe. Some seizure warning signs and symptoms include:

  • Temporary perplexity
  • A bout of staring
  • Jerky, uncontrollable arm, and leg movements
  • Loss of awareness or consciousness
  • Symptoms of the mind or the heart, such as fear, worry, or déjà vu

Based on how and where aberrant brain activity starts, doctors typically categorize seizures as either focal or generalized. If the cause of the seizure is uncertain, it may also be categorized as having an undetermined onset. Excessive electrical impulses in one part of your brain cause focal seizures. Loss of consciousness is not always a need for focal seizures:

Focal seizures followed by altered awareness- These seizures cause a shift in consciousness or loss of consciousness that feels like a dream. You may appear to be awake, yet you either perform repetitive actions or stare out into space without responding properly to your environment. These behaviors could involve lip movements, hand rubbing, repeating certain words, or even circling. You might not be aware that you had a seizure or recall having one.

You do not even lose consciousness during these seizures, but they may change your emotions or the way things feel, look, smell, taste, or sound. You can feel happy, sad, or furious all of a sudden. Some people will experience nausea or other peculiar, hard-to-explain sensations. Speech difficulties, uncontrollable jerking of a bodily part, like an elbow or a leg, and sudden sensory symptoms, such as tingling, vertigo, and seeing flashing lights, may also be brought on by these seizures.

Focal seizure symptoms might be mistaken for those of other neurological conditions such as migraine, narcolepsy, or mental illness. Now, generalized seizures appear to affect all parts of the brain and are distinguished from focal seizures. Generalized seizures come in various forms, including:

Children frequently experience absence seizures, also known as petit mal seizures, which are characterized by staring out into space or by minute bodily movements such as lip-smacking or eye blinking. The majority of the time, the last five to ten seconds, although they can occur several hundred times a day. Clusters of these seizures are possible, and they can briefly render a person unconscious.

Your muscles are tense as a result of tonic seizures. Your back, arms, and legs are typically affected by these seizures, which might make you pass out and drop to the ground.

Drop seizures often referred to as atonic seizures, are characterized by a loss of muscle control that can make you suddenly pass out, fall to the ground, or drop your head.

Clonic seizures are characterized by jerking, repetitive, or rhythmic muscular movements. The neck, face, and arms on both sides of the body are typically affected by these seizures.

Your arms and legs will typically jolt briefly or twitch during myoclonic seizures. In many cases, there is no loss of consciousness.

The most severe form of an epileptic seizure, tonic-clonic seizures—previously known as grand mal seizures—can result in an abrupt loss of consciousness, stiffness and trembling of the body, and occasionally loss of bladder control or tongue-biting. They might go on for a while.

Main Differences Between a Stroke and a Seizure In Points

  • Generally, strokes happen when an area of the brain is not getting enough blood for one reason or another, either internal or external. A clinical condition known as a seizure occurs when the brain's electrical circuitry abruptly and abnormally malfunctions, causing the person to begin shaking.
  • Now, Ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes are two different forms. There are two types of seizures: epileptic and non-epileptic.
  • It is thought that the brain stops functioning during a stroke. The brain functions abnormally and excessively during seizures.
  • Stroke is far more dangerous since it causes the death of brain cells. Even though a seizure may occur more drastically, a patient can recover after one.
  • Numerous factors, including high blood pressure, blood clots, drugs, etc., can cause strokes. When a patient has low blood pressure, a fever, or takes drugs often, seizures tend to occur more frequently.


Thus, now we got to know all the major differences between a stroke and a seizure.


  • Seizures. (n.d.). Retrieved from MAYO CLINIC: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seizure/symptoms-causes/syc-20365711
  • Stroke. (n.d.). Retrieved from MAYO CLINIC: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20350113


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"Difference Between a Stroke and a Seizure." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 19 Apr. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-a-stroke-and-a-seizure-682>.

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