Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Complex Partial Seizures Overview

Another name for Complex Partial Seizures is Partial Seizures.

What are partial seizures?
A person with a seizure has a sudden increase in electrical activity in the brain. Partial seizures often occur in a part of the brain called the temporal lobe. Partial seizures are divided into two types: simple partial seizures and complex partial seizures. A person with a simple seizure remains aware during the seizure, while a person with a complex seizure loses awareness during the seizure. A Jacksonian seizure is a prolonged, simple partial motor seizure. Partial seizures are the most common type of seizure.

What are the symptoms of partial seizures?
Symptoms of partial seizures depend on the type of seizure. Symptoms of a simple partial seizure include the sensation that a seizure is about to occur, awareness of the seizure, anxiousness, and repetitive movements in one location of the body. Symptoms of a complex partial seizure include loss of awareness, unintentional emotional outbursts or vocal sounds, and involuntary actions, such as chewing or clumsiness.

How does the doctor treat partial seizures?
Treatment for partial seizures may include anticonvulsant medications. Additional treatment may include surgery or a vagus nerve stimulation implant, which sends electrical impulses through a nerve in the chest, and to the brain. The electrical impulses suppress the electrical activity in the brain that causes the seizures.

Continue to Complex Partial Seizures Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Complex Partial Seizures References
  1. Feddersen B, Herzer R, Hartmann U, Gaab MR, Runge U. On the psychopathology of unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav. 2005 Feb;6(1):43-9. [15652733]
  2. Fogarasi A, Jokeit H, Faveret E, Janszky J, Tuxhorn I. The effect of age on seizure semiology in childhood temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2002 Jun;43(6):638-43. [12060024]
  3. Franzon RC, Montenegro MA, Guimaraes CA, Guerreiro CA, Cendes F, Guerreiro MM. Clinical, electroencephalographic, and behavioral features of temporal lobe epilepsy in childhood. J Child Neurol. 2004 Jun;19(6):418-23. [15446389]
  4. Maillard L, Vignal JP, Gavaret M, Guye M, Biraben A, McGonigal A, Chauvel P, Bartolomei F. Semiologic and electrophysiologic correlations in temporal lobe seizure subtypes. Epilepsia. 2004 Dec;45(12):1590-9. [15571517]
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