Patients experiencing different types of seizures tend to present with distinct hand gestures during the attacks, according to a recent retrospective analysis published in Neurology. To reach that conclusion, researchers analyzed videotaped hand postures in patients with genetic generalized epilepsy, localization-related epilepsy, and non-epileptic attacks. They found that 96% of patients with localized epilepsy presented with index-finger pointing while 91.3% of patients with genetic generalized epilepsy presented with hand fanning, which only occurred at the onset of the seizures. The investigators also discovered that making a fist, fanning and index-finger pointing was more common among patients who were having epileptic seizures, when compared to those who were having non-epileptic attacks (74% vs 32%).
Siegel J, Tatum, WO. Hand postures in primary and secondary generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Neurology. 2016; Published online Sept 24.