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Simple Partial Seizures

Simple partial seizures are localized to one area on one side of the brain, but may spread from there. Consciousness is not lost during a simple partial seizure. The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, and the right side of the brain controls the left side – so it can be relatively easy for a doctor to identify which side of the brain is being affected by a simple partial seizure.

Physicians typically break simple partial seizures down into four areas, depending on the location in the brain and parts of the body affected:

  • Motor – A simple partial seizure with motor symptoms will affect muscle activity, causing jerking movements of the foot, face, arm, or another part of the body. Physicians can diagnose which side of the brain is affected by observing which side of the body experiences symptoms (left brain controls right side, right brain controls left side).
  • Sensory – A simple partial seizure with sensory symptoms affect the senses: hearing problems, possible hallucinations, and other distortions.
  • Autonomic – A simple partial seizure with autonomic symptoms affects the part of the brain responsible for involuntary functions: it may cause changes in blood pressure, heart rhythm, bowel function, etc.
  • Psychic – A simple partial seizure with psychic symptoms affects parts of the brain that trigger emotions or previous experiences: it may cause feelings of fear, anxiety, déjà vu (the feeling that something has been experienced before), etc.

Treatment of simple partial seizures

There is no one treatment method for any patient with a seizure disorder. Each treatment plan is tailored to the individual patient based on their diagnosis and symptoms. Treatment options may include medical therapy, nerve stimulation, dietary therapy, or surgery, as appropriate. Clinical trials may also be a valuable treatment alternative.

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For more information about simple partial seizures or to meet with our doctors, request an appointment at the Epilepsy Center.

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