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Epilepsy Health Center

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Focal Epilepsy - Topic Overview

Epilepsy that causes partial seizures is sometimes called focal epilepsy, because the seizures start at a specific focus or location within the brain. In people with this type of disorder, the electrical charges that cause seizures begin in a specific area in the brain, although more of the brain may become affected during the seizure.

Epilepsy that causes partial seizures is the most common type of epilepsy in adults. The seizures do not always have a known cause. But they often result from severe head injury, stroke, brain tumor, brain infections, scar tissue, and other diseases that affect the brain.

Recommended Related to Epilepsy

Understanding Seizures -- Symptoms

Symptoms of seizures vary widely, depending on the part of the brain affected by the electrical misfiring. If a very small part of the brain is affected, you might sense only an odd smell or taste. In other cases, you could have hallucinations or convulsions, or you could lose consciousness. Generalized tonic-clonic. This type of seizure is sometimes preceded by an aura (awareness of a strange odor, taste, or vision). You might lose consciousness, fall, and experience muscle rigidity (stiffness)...

Read the Understanding Seizures -- Symptoms article > >

These same conditions may also cause partial seizures in children. But the cause of partial seizures in children is more often unknown (idiopathic). These seizures are often a form of benign focal childhood epilepsy, which has no known cause.

Drug therapy is the usual treatment for partial seizures for both adults and children. Surgery that removes the affected area of the brain is also an option for some people who have partial seizures.

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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