All seizures are caused by abnormal electrical disturbances in the brain. Partial (focal) seizures occur when this electrical activity remains in a limited area of the brain. The seizures can sometimes turn into generalized seizures, which affect the whole brain. This is called secondary generalization.
Partial seizures can be further characterized as:
Patients with focal seizures can have any of the symptoms below, depending on where in the brain the seizure starts.
Patients with simple focal seizures do not lose consciousness. They will be aware of and remember the events that occur at the time.
Patients with complex partial seizures may or may not remember any or all of the symptoms or events during the seizure.
Symptoms can include:
Other symptoms include:
Focal seizure; Jacksonian seizure; Seizure - partial (focal); Temporal lobe seizure
Abou-Khalil BW, Gallagher MJ, Macdonald RL. Epilepsies. In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC. Bradley’s Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 67.
Updated by: Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles and Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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