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Understanding Temporal Lobe Seizure -- Diagnosis and Treatment

How Is a Temporal Lobe Seizure Diagnosed?

If someone has a seizure for the first time, if a seizure lasts longer than two to three minutes, or if multiple seizures occur one after the other, take him or her to the emergency room or call 911 immediately.

If a seizure disorder is suspected, the doctor will begin by taking a thorough medical history, including any birth trauma, serious head injury, or infections of the brain, such as encephalitis or meningitis.

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Brain function can be "viewed" with an electroencephalogram, or EEG, which detects the electrical signals that relay information from one brain cell to another. EEGs may show characteristic, abnormal patterns during different types of seizures.

In addition, X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs of the head can help rule out specific causes of seizures.

What Are the Treatments for Temporal Lobe Seizures?

Anticonvulsant medications may help reduce or eliminate recurrent seizures in some people. They include: 

  • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • divalproex sodium (Depakote)
  • gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • levetiracetam (Keppra)
  • oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)
  • phenobarbital
  • phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • pregabalin (Lyrica)
  • primidone (Mysoline)
  • tiagabine (Gabitril)
  • topiramate (Topamax)
  • valproic acid (Depakene)
  • vigabatrin (Sabril)
  • zonisamide (Zonegran)

Temporal lobe seizures may be difficult to completely control with medication alone. It is not unusual for a person to have an occasional temporal lobe seizure despite taking the correct amount of medication.

Some people with temporal lobe seizures respond well to surgery that removes the abnormal part of the brain. This procedure is called a temporal lobectomy.

Also, the FDA approved a procedure called vagus nerve stimulation. A device is implanted under the collarbone that stimulates the left vagus nerve, resulting in an inhibition of seizures.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Richard Senelick, MD on March 21, 2014

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