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.
People with photosensitive epilepsy have seizures that are triggered by:
Bold, contrasting visual patterns (such as stripes or checks)
Overexposure to video games
Anti-epileptic medicines are available to reduce the risk of a seizure. But people with photosensitive epilepsy should take steps to minimize their exposure to seizure triggers.
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
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.
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.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this