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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.

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Understanding Absence Seizure -- the Basics

Affecting about two of every 1,000 people, absence seizures (formerly called ''petit mal'' seizures) are caused by abnormal and intense electrical activity in the brain. Normally, the brain's nerve cells (neurons) communicate with one another by firing tiny electric signals. But with a seizure, these signals become abnormal. Seizures may affect an isolated part of the brain or may involve abnormal activity in the whole brain (called generalized seizures). Absence seizures are one form of generalized...

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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).

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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