Complex partial seizures occur in children and adults with certain
epilepsy. They are the most common type of seizure in
aura may occur at the beginning of a seizure. It may
consist of a strange smell, taste, sound, or visual disturbance, an unexplained
feeling of fear or anxiety, or a sense that everything seems strangely
familiar, like it has all happened before (déjà vu), or strangely unfamiliar
The seizure changes the person's level of
consciousness. The person may appear awake but cannot respond to anything or
anyone around him or her. The person usually stares into space.
seizure may include involuntary movements called automatisms, such as
lip-smacking, chewing, hand wringing, picking, and swallowing.
seizure lasts 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Most people who have complex partial seizures do not remember having
them. After a seizure, the person will be confused or disoriented and may have
a hard time speaking and swallowing for several minutes.
You could say that epilepsy doesn't discriminate. It strikes men and women at about the same rate. Men are slightly more likely to develop it than women. But that doesn't mean that it always affects men and women in the same way. Women definitely have special issues they need to understand and prepare for.
About one million women and girls are living with epilepsy and other seizure disorders today. If you're one of them, you know that there are things that men and boys with epilepsy don't have to...
Complex partial seizures are often confused with absence seizures, a
type of generalized seizure. Absence seizures, though, never begin with an
aura and last only 5 to 15 seconds. Also, a person is fully alert after an
absence seizure and may continue with whatever he or she was doing before the
seizure as though nothing has happened.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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