Simple partial seizures are a type of seizure that affects one side of the brain. Sometimes the seizure activity will remain on this side, while in other cases the seizure activity will spread and become partially complex or secondarily generalized in type.
Doctors may also call simple partial seizures “focal conscious seizures” or “simple focal seizures.”
If a person experiences recurring simple partial seizures, the doctor can diagnose his epilepsy, which is a continuation of the seizures. It is estimated that between 2 and 12 percent of all children with epilepsy experience simple partial seizures.
A seizure occurs when a person experiences a disruption in normal brain activity. The brain communicates through electrical “signals”, so when these signals are violated, a person can have a seizure.
Simple partial seizures occur in people who have electrical abnormalities in a certain part of the brain and are prone to these disturbed signals.
Doctors do not know what causes many simple partial convulsive disorders, but they think that there may be genetic factors.
The causes of simple partial seizures include traumatic traumatic brain injury, which can cause a scar on the brain, which can disrupt the normal electrical signals of the brain and cause seizures. In addition, irritation of the brain as a result of surgery, stroke or a tumor can affect the electrical activity of the brain and cause simple partial seizures.
People with diabetes may experience a type of continuous simple partial seizure, called partialis Continua epilepsy (EPC). Eliminating and correcting very high blood sugar can help treat this rare disease. Any other structural abnormalities in the brain can also cause EPC.
Other types of seizures include complex partial seizures that lead to loss of consciousness. This is because abnormal electrical activity affects both sides of the brain and regions that are important in consciousness.
Another type is a generalized seizure that occurs when the entire human brain is affected. People experiencing a generalized seizure lose consciousness. Symptoms are tonic-clonic convulsions (grandiose boys) when hands and legs twitch, or little boys watching spells when a person does not respond to any instructions from others.
Doctors often divide simple partial seizures into four types depending on the area of the brain on which they act. The location of the seizure usually determines the symptoms of an attack.
Motor and sensory simple partial seizures cannot alter consciousness or consciousness. However, some partial seizures may be simple or complex and may be associated with autonomic or mental problems.
Below are more detailed information about these four simple categories of partial withdrawals:
- Motor: A motor seizure leads to loss of control over muscle activity, usually in the arm, face, foot, or other part of the body. Because of how the motor nerves pass through the brain, if a person loses control of the right side of the brain, this causes problems on the left side of the body and vice versa.
- Touch: Sensory seizures cause changes in a person’s hearing, sight, or smell. This can cause hallucinations and hearing difficulties. Also, as with motor seizures, a seizure focus on the right side of the brain can cause numbness or tingling on the left side of the body.
- Autonomous: Autonomic seizures affect those parts of the brain that perform body functions that a person does not control with their thinking. Symptoms may include changes in heart rate, blood pressure and bowel function.
- Psychic: Extrasensory seizure causes sudden emotional changes in a person, such as feeling fear, anxiety, or even deja vu.
Some common symptoms of simple partial seizures that can occur individually or in combination in a given person without losing consciousness include:
- be inattentive, but still able to follow commands.
- changes in vision (often on the one hand or on the other)
- hard to say or not to talk for a while.
- feeling as if skin was crawling (often striking one side or the other).
- numbness or tingling on one side of the body (in whole or in part).
- sweat or worry
- reduced mobility on one side of the body (fully or partially).
- unusual eye movements, such as the rapid movement of the eyes from side to side or view, attached in one direction
In some people, a simple partial seizure is a warning seizure, which may indicate that another seizure will occur soon. They can be a warning of a generalized seizure that affects the entire brain and leads to loss of consciousness.
Most seizures last no more than 1-2 minutes. However, a person may continue to feel confused or have difficulty with a clear mindset after a seizure.
If the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, doctors consider it an emergency medical care.
When a person has had multiple seizures, doctors usually prescribe anticonvulsant drugs as the first line of treatment.
However, other treatment options include:
- treatment of high blood sugar to reduce focal seizures due to diabetes
- Treating brain edema caused by a tumor, for example, can reduce the size of a brain area that can cause a seizure.
- treating the cause of a brain infection, such as herpes encephalitis, can also reduce the risk of seizure in humans.
However, seizure medications or these other treatments may not be effective in stopping seizures.
Other treatments include
One of the treatment options for some forms of simple partial seizures in children is a special diet known as the ketogenic diet. Many doctors offer a ketogenic diet for children who have not responded to other methods of treating seizures. This diet is a strictly restrictive diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates, which can sometimes be difficult for children. A ketogenic diet requires observation by a nutritionist.
Some people may need surgery to stop the seizures. Surgery involves removing a part of the brain that causes seizures in a person. These areas include scar tissue, tumor or other abnormalities. Surgery is usually considered an extreme measure. It can be carried out in relation to people who have not responded to drugs, and those who have not responded to them, and those who have a reason for withdrawals are readily available.
People who are not candidates for surgery, but do not respond well to their anticonvulsant drugs, may find a device called the vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) useful.
VNS is a small device that is placed under the skin in the chest and attached to the vagus nerve in the neck. This vagus nerve rises to the brain, and electrical signals from the ANS alter the electrical activity in the brain that causes seizures.
There are a number of affordable medicines that are aimed at reducing the frequency of seizures. Each of the drugs works differently, and sometimes the doctor prescribes more than one type of anticonvulsant drugs.
Drug options include:
- carbamazepine (tegretol)
- lamotrigine (lamictal)
- oxcarbazepine (triptal)
- phenytoin (dilantin)
- valproate (Depakot)
If a person takes anticonvulsants, he should not suddenly stop taking them.
To prevent seizure, the body must contain a certain amount of anti-convulsant drugs. Sudden cessation of medication can quickly cause a seizure.
When to see a doctor
If a person has symptoms that may simply be a partial seizure, he should immediately seek medical attention.
Sometimes the symptoms of a simple partial seizure may be misunderstood. For example, a teacher or other school employee may take the symptoms of a simple partial seizure in a child for laziness in the classroom or inattention.
The doctor often diagnoses epilepsy, considering the person’s symptoms. They will ask friends and family members about the symptoms they have observed.
The doctor may order tests that exclude other causes. This may include a blood test, a liver test, or a thyroid test.
Sometimes a doctor may order a test known as an electroencephalogram or an EEG. This test measures brain waves and functioning. If a person has a seizure during an EEG observation, the doctor collects specific information about the type of seizure.
Doctors may also order tomography, such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, to identify areas that can cause seizures.
It is important to note that all tests, including a neurological examination conducted by a physician, may be normal, but the patient may still have a convulsive disorder or epilepsy.
A critical first step in diagnosing a person who is believed to have suffered one or more simple partial seizures is to determine if he has a brain abnormality. This abnormality may be a problem in the brain structure, such as a tumor, or it may be that a specific area of the brain is electrically abnormal and causes simple partial seizures.
Children who have simple partial seizures sometimes “outgrow” into seizures and do not experience them as adults.
Others may need to take birth control drugs for the rest of their lives.
Simple partial seizures can be treated in a variety of ways, for example, treating the underlying disease or prescribing a specific drug. Sometimes simple partial seizures may indicate the onset of a more dangerous (generalized) convulsive disorder.
Anyone experiencing the symptoms of a possible simple partial seizure should consult a doctor for a definite diagnosis and treatment.