Complex partial seizures, also known as temporal lobe seizures, are a type of seizure that affects the temporal lobe of the brain. The temporal lobe is involved in a number of important functions, including memory, language, and emotion, and complex partial seizures can cause a range of symptoms depending on the specific area of the brain affected.
Symptoms of complex partial seizures
During a complex partial seizure, a person may experience a variety of symptoms, including:
Alterations in consciousness: A person experiencing a complex partial seizure may be confused, disoriented, or unable to respond to others. They may also appear to be in a trance-like state.
Changes in behavior: A person experiencing a complex partial seizure may exhibit abnormal behaviors, such as repeated movements or utterances, or they may perform inappropriate or seemingly purposeless actions.
Sensory disturbances: A person experiencing a complex partial seizure may experience changes in their senses, such as seeing, hearing, or smelling things that are not really there.
Emotional changes: A person experiencing a complex partial seizure may exhibit changes in their emotional state, such as becoming anxious or agitated.
Causes of complex partial seizures
The exact cause of complex partial seizures is often unknown, but they are thought to be related to abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Some potential causes of complex partial seizures include:
Brain injury: Traumatic brain injuries, such as those caused by a car accident or a fall, can increase the risk of developing complex partial seizures.
Infection: Infections of the brain or spinal cord, such as meningitis, can cause complex partial seizures.
Genetic factors: Some people may be at a higher risk of developing complex partial seizures due to a family history of epilepsy.
Structural abnormalities: Abnormalities in the brain's structure, such as a tumor or abnormal blood vessels, can increase the risk of complex partial seizures.
Treatment of complex partial seizures
Complex partial seizures can often be controlled with medication, such as antiepileptic drugs. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to remove the part of the brain causing the seizures. Alternative therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, can also be helpful in managing the emotional and social impacts of living with epilepsy.
It is important to work closely with a medical professional to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for complex partial seizures. With the right treatment and support, people with complex partial seizures can live full and productive lives.