Febrile seizures refers to seizures caused by an elevated body temperature. It usually occurs in children between the age of 6 months to 6 years. It is caused by a rapid rise in body temperature rather than prolonged fever. The exact mechanism by which fever causes seizures is not known. But there are various theories put forward to explain it.
One theory states that respiratory alkalosis which accompanies fever is the cause for seizures. Fever can cause hyperventilation especially in children. This causes increase in the pH within the brain. The increased pH increases the excitability and causes seizures. This also explain why febrile seizures occur in children – they are more prone for hyperventilation.
Another theory states that increased temperature causes down regulation of GABA a receptors on the neuronal cell membrane. The inhibition of neuronal firing is removed and this results in increased excitability an seizures.