Epilepsy: Simple Partial Seizures - Topic Overview

Simple partial seizures occur in children and adults with some forms of epilepsy. They are about half as common as complex partial seizures.

The person stays awake and aware during the seizure. The seizure may be only a strange smell or taste, sound or visual disturbance, or feeling of confusion, anxiety, or fear-some people describe these sensations as an aura. The person's arms, face, or hands may briefly stiffen, tingle, flex, or jerk, but this does not always occur. Eyes may blink rapidly during the seizure. The person may cry out or may not be able to speak.

Simple partial seizures affect only those muscles or body parts controlled by the specific area of the brain where the seizure begins. After the seizure, the person may feel weak or numb in that area of his or her body (often one side of the face, one hand, or one arm).

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