Difference Between Seizure and Tremor

Involuntary trembling can be the symptom of a variety of medical problems, including both seizures and tremors. Seizures often manifest themselves with tremors.

What is Seizure?

Seizures are a medical ailment that point to a more permanent or temporary underlying brain disorder. To put it simply, seizures occur when chemical changes in nerve cells trigger an abnormal burst of electrical activity in the brain.

What is Tremor?

A tremor is a trembling of one or more portions of the body that is not deliberately controlled. Nevertheless, tremors can also manifest in the legs, chest, head, arms, and even the voice chords, but they are most common in the hands.

Differences: Seizure and Tremor

The following table highlights the major differences between Seizure and Tremor −





It is a neurological medical condition which happens when there is a sudden and uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain.

Involuntary and uncontrollable rhythmic movement of one part of the body or one limb of your body.


  • Absence seizures – Also called Petit Mal seizure. It is the sudden, brief lapses of consciousness. Affect most children of 5-9 years old.

  • Tonic-clonic – Also termed as Grand Mal Seizure. It is defined as a loss of attention and consciousness and extremely violent muscle contractions.

  • Atonic seizures- These are also termed as akinetic seizures. These cause sudden and abrupt loss of muscle strength.

  • Clonic seizures – It means sustained rhythmical jerking rhymical. It involves jerking movements triggered by the repeated stiffening and relaxing of muscles

  • Myoclonic seizures – It is defined as a short-lived shock-like jerks of a muscle or group of muscles.

  • Resting tremor – It happens when the muscle is relaxed, for example when the hands are resting on the lap

  • Postural tremor – It happens when an individual is holding a position against gravity, for example arm or leg outstretched

  • Action or kinetic tremor – It happens at the time of voluntary movement

  • Intention tremor – It is a dyskinetic disorder which involves purposeful and voluntary movement towards a target, for example lifting hand to write.

  • Task specific tremor – This type of tremor emerges during a particular activity

  • Nystagmus Tremor – This tremor is used to describe unintentional repetitive eye movements that make it impossible for a person to keep their eyes fixed on any given object


  • Temporary confusion

  • Changes in behaviour

  • A staring spell

  • Extreme tiredness after a seizure

  • Strange sensations and emotions

  • Involuntary urination

  • Aura

  • Uncontrollable jerk like movements of the legs and arms

  • Frothing from the mouth

  • Loss of consciousness or awareness

  • Tongue biting

  • Emotional or cognitive symptoms, such as déjà vu, fear, or anxiety

  • Sudden falling

  • Tasting a bitter or metallic flavour

  • Teeth clenching

  • Shaky and Quavering voice

  • Uncontrollable nodding head

  • Tingling or numbness in any part of the body

  • Tremors triggered due to emotional anxiety

  • Uncontrollable shaking occurring intermittently for brief periods of time

  • Nodding head

  • Balance problems (in rare cases)

  • Protruding eyes

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Perspiration

  • Goitre

  • Stooped posture

Length of effects

  • Epilepsy

  • Any type of brain injury (like stroke, trauma, stroke, brain infection, or a brain tumor)

  • Drug abuse

  • High fever, usually associated with an infection for example – meningitis

  • Electric shock

  • Congenital brain defects (Brain problems that occur before birth)

  • Inadequate sleep

  • Low blood sodium (hyponatremia), which can happen with diuretic therapy

  • Illegal or recreational drugs, like amphetamines or cocaine

  • Muscle fatigue

  • Prescription drugs

  • Injuries

  • Deficiencies of magnesium and thiamine

  • Ingesting too much caffeine

  • Lack of sleep

  • Lack of vitamins

  • Increased stress

  • Stress

  • Aging

  • Low blood sugar levels


Medications – Carbamazepine, Phenytoin, Valproic acid, Oxcarbazepine, Lamotrigine, Gabapentin, Topiramate, Phenobarbital.

Surgery – Surgery is meant to prevent seizures that always originate in the same place in the brains.

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) – It is a medical treatment that involves delivering electric impulses using an instrument that is implanted beneath the chest skin that facilitates the stimulation of the vagus nerve in the neck, triggering signals to the brain that inhibit seizures.

Responsive neurostimulation – an instrument is implanted in this treatment on the surface of the brain tissue to detect seizure and with the help of electrical stimulation prevent the seizure

Deep brain stimulation– In this, the electrodes are implanted in different areas of the brain to provide stimulation directly to the brain to help prevent the spread of seizures

Dietary therapy – Low carb diet called keto diet is helpful in preventing seizures.

Medications (Betablockers and anticonvulsant) – Gabapentin (Neurontin), primidone (Mysoline), propranolol (Hemangeol, Inderal, Inderal XL, and InnoPran XL) and topiramate (Topamax).

OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox) injections– These injections are helpful in treating voice and head tremors.

Tranquilizers – Benzodiazepine drugs such as clonazepam (Klonopin)

urgery – Only considered in extreme cases, where symptoms are not getting controlled by other forms of treatment. Surgery involves thalamotomy (operating on) or the brain stimulation (electrical stimulation of an area of the brain called the thalamus).

Oral bioavailability

2 per cent (high absorption but extensive first-pass metabolism)

Up to 40 per cent


Seizures and tremors are different neurological conditions that can affect movement and muscle control. Seizures are sudden, brief episodes of abnormal electrical activity in the brain that can cause a wide range of symptoms, while tremors are rhythmic, involuntary muscle contractions that cause a part of the body to shake or quiver.

Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain, while tremors can be caused by a variety of factors, including problems in the cerebellum, Parkinson's disease and other degenerative disorders.

Updated on: 07-Apr-2023

2K+ Views

Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started