Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms tonic clonic seizure Evaluation Treatment first aid questions for doctor specialist Home Care taking control warning signs Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Types Anatomy

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Symptoms

Two types of seizures may occur in those with temporal lobe epilepsy:

Symptoms of temporal lobe epilepsy depend on the type of seizure.

Symptoms of complex partial seizure include:
  • Confusion:
    • Awake, but unaware of surroundings
    • Poor, or no response to commands
    • May respond to simple commands.
  • Brief, involuntary actions:
    • Chewing
    • Clumsiness
    • Vocal sounds
    • Lip smacking
    • Mumbling
    • Picking at clothing
  • Emotional outbursts

Symptoms of simple partial seizure include:
  • Aura:
    • Sensation that a seizure is going to occur
    • May include hallucinations: false perception of something that does not exist
    • May include anxiety
  • Awake and aware of surroundings:
    • Person is conscious during the seizure
  • Anxiousness during the seizure
  • Repetitive movements:
    • Usually confined to one area, such as the thumb or the big toe
  • Taste change

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Tonic Clonic Seizure

Simple partial seizures can spread within the brain, leading to symptoms of a tonic clonic seizure (grand-mal seizure).

Symptoms of a tonic clonic seizure include:

  • Convulsions:
    • Uncontrolled, rhythmic muscle spasms
    • Spasms may be violent
    • May occur in the arms, legs, neck, face and trunk
  • Violent muscle contractions may result in:

Common symptoms that occur after a tonic clonic seizure include:

For more information:

Continue to Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Evaluation

Last Updated: Jan 22, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Temporal Lobe Epilepsy 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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