petit mal

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Related to petit mal: grand mal


 [mal] (Fr. and Sp.)
mal de Meleda symmetrical keratosis of the palms and soles associated with a dry, scaly thickening of the wrists and ankles.
mal de mer seasickness.

pe·tit mal sei·zure

obsolescent term for a cerebral seizure not manifested by tonic-clonic movements (that is, grand mal); formerly thought to be the clinical manifestation solely of a 3-second spike in wave pattern, as seen on electroencephalography, but now known to be associated with several different EEG patterns.

petit mal

/pe·tit mal/ (pĕ-te´ mahl´) [Fr.] see under epilepsy.

petit mal

Absence Neurology A spell characterized by lapse of attention and awareness, with loss of recall, without convulsions or loss consciousness. Cf Grand mal seizure; psychomotor epilepsy.

pe·tit mal

(pĕ-tē' mahl)
Type of seizure; often associated with an instance of fixed gaze (i.e., staring), typically lasting only a few seconds.
[Fr. small illness]

petit mal

A minor form of EPILEPSY. Petit mal attacks are almost entirely confined to children and adolescents. There is a momentary unappreciated loss of awareness and social contact but the child does not fall and may even continue automatically with some activity, such as cycling. Attacks may be very frequent and may severely interfere with education. Petit mal can be controlled with anticonvulsant drugs.


chronic neurological disorder characterized by variable episodes of paroxysmal brain dysfunction (i.e. a fit), altered levels of consciousness and excessive neuronal discharge and/or convulsions followed by a period of sleepiness; fits are controlled by antiepileptic drugs, e.g. carbamazepine (Tegretol), gabapentin (Neurontin), phenytoin (Epanutin), pregabalin (Lyrica), sodium valproate (Epilim); local anaesthetic drugs within the systemic circulation agonize antiepileptic medications
  • focal epilepsy; cortical epilepsy seizure often preceded by a specific sensory phenomenon (aura), and characterized by isolated disturbance of cerebral function, e.g. uncontrollable twitching of one limb, and followed by some degree of subsequent temporary mental dysfunction

  • generalized epilepsy; grand mal epilepsy a classic epileptic seizure often preceded by a brief, specific sensory phenomenon (aura), and characterized by a sudden loss of consciousness, cyanosis and tonic muscular spasm (lasting approximately 30 seconds), followed by repetitive clonic body jerking, (lasting for a few minutes), with frothing at the mouth and urinary incontinence after which the patient remains unconscious or semiconscious and flaccid for several minutes; the patient may remain drowsy or confused for some time after the seizure has passed

  • petit mal epilepsy characterized by short period of 'absence', during which the patient does not become unconscious or suffer muscular spasms but is temporarily non-reactive to and unaware of his or her surroundings or actions

  • temporal-lobe epilepsy; psychomotor epilepsy attacks characterized by impaired consciousness and amnesia, clonic limb movements, hallucinations or other psychic disturbances

  • tonic epilepsy seizure characterized by tonic convulsions and rigidity

petit mal

a relatively mild seizure contrasting with grand mal, a major seizure. Occurs in humans where the patient loses consciousness only momentarily and there are few motor signs. True petit mal seizures would be difficult to detect, but probably do occur occasionally in animals. See also seizure.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hosford hopes that such research lead to a more tailored therapy designed to attack the mechanism of petit mal and perhaps treat the seizures without producing some of the more unfortunate side effects" caused by current drugs.
Call 01874 611622 5 Petit Mal Break-dancing and hip-hop fuse with Chinese pole, trampolines and aerial feats as Finnish trio Petri, Rauli and Kalle bring their wild physicality to this daring performance.
There are two types of epilepsy - petit mal and grand mal.
Petit mal seizures are also known as absence seizures.
Petit mal, a form of epilepsy said to be stress related, was diagnosed and Sophie was prescribed tablets.
She suffered from petit mal seizures until she decided to undergo an operation four years ago.
But she may have a completely different kind of epilepsy, called petit mal, where there is no real loss of consciousness but simply a dreamlike state lasting between five and 30 seconds where your wife is out of touch with her surroundings and cannot be roused.
There are two main types of generalised seizure - grand mal and petit mal (absence) seizures.
Petit mal is a generalised epileptic seizure in which there's a momentary loss of consciousness without abnormal movements and they occur mainly in children.
VGRS patients also have simple partial seizures and absences, formerly called petit mals and characterized by seconds-long lapses in s consciousness (SN: 7/25/92, p.
My memory did come back but I was having epileptic fits nearly every day - what they call petit mals - sort of mini-fits.