Petit Mal Seizures
In contrast to the drama of the grand mal seizure, the petit mal may seem inconsequential. The patient interrupts whatever he is doing and for up to about 30 seconds may show subtle outward signs such as blinking his eyes, staring into space, or pausing in conversation. After the seizure he resumes his previous activity. Petit mal seizures are associated with heredity and they never occur in people over the age of 20 years. Oddly, though the seizures may occur several times a day, they do so usually when the patient is quiet and not during periods of activity. After puberty these seizures may disappear or they may be replaced by the grand mal type of seizure.