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Partial-Onset Seizures

Partial-Onset Seizures

Partial-Onset Seizures
Transcript

As opposed to the generalized seizures, the focal seizures or partial onset seizures are much more common in adults. This is what most of what I see. With partial onset seizures again the symptoms are interesting and difficult too, because it completely depends where they're coming from in the brain. And so in adults, the seizures have three main types. They're called simple-partial, complex-partial, and then secondarily generalized. And it all has to do with how much of the brain is involved. And so you can imagine there's a scar in the brain, the size of your pinky tip and that scar can be anywhere, let's say it's in the temporal lobe where the majority of seizures originate. In that area, that part of the brain is firing off in a disorganized way. It's a tiny area and because it's so small, there's no alteration of consciousness, there's no confusion, but the area right around it gets activated. That electrical activity sort of is conducted to the brain cells right around there. And so you get a feeling for whatever that is. And I point out if that was in your vision area, you could have a visual hallucination. If it was in a motor area, you might get jerking on the opposite side in the temporal lobe. There are some very consistent symptoms people get. Often either butterflies in the stomach or this rising feeling in the stomach, like you're on a roller coaster. But people can get Deja Vu. A funny taste. Almost always unpleasant, a funny smell. A panic feeling, unprovoked anxiety. And again, there's no alteration of consciousness. So people will often say, that's not a seizure. That was an aura. Well, that is, that's a small seizure. That's a simple partial seizure. Then as a seizure, gets a little bit bigger, a little bit more of the brain is involved. Then you start to have some alteration of consciousness. And I would point out that this is often very gray, right? There's the there, you know, there is the black and the white. No the totally aware of what's going on in the, totally not aware of what's going on. But there's all of these shades of gray in between and we call these sort of dyscognitive symptoms where you're just not quite right. You're not functioning at full capacity. And again, it has to do with just how much of the brain is involved with the seizure activity.

Doctor Profile

David Teeple, MD

Neurologist

  • Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both Neurology and Neurophysiology
  • Special area of expertise is in Stroke, Epilepsy, Therapeutic Botox
  • Director of the Stroke Care Program at Tucson Medical Center

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