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What are focal onset seizures in children?

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A focal onset seizure starts in one part of the brain. Doctors used to call them partial seizures, and you may still see that term on some websites or in books.

What it looks like depends on where in the brain it happens. Your child may have symptoms that range from twitching or tingling in the hand to having a sense of dread or feeling like time slows down.

Focal onset seizures tend to be very short, and they don't cause any lasting harm to the brain.

SOURCES:

Epilepsy Foundation: "2017 Revised Classification of Seizures," "Focal Onset Aware Seizures (simple partial seizures)."

AboutKidsHealth: "Simple Partial Seizures."

UpToDate: "Seizures and epilepsy in children: Classification, etiology, and clinical features."

Nationwide Children's Hospital of Wisconsin: "Seizures: Focal (Partial)," "Seizures and Epilepsy."

Epilepsy Action: "Focal Seizures."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Seizures and Epilepsy in Children."

University of Rochester Medical Center: "Epilepsy and Seizures in Children."

Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago: "Epilepsy in Children."

NYU Langone Health: "Types of Epilepsy & Seizure Disorders in Children."

ColumbiaDoctors: "Pediatric Epilepsy."

Boston Children's Hospital: "Seizures symptoms & causes in children."

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava on March 22, 2018

SOURCES:

Epilepsy Foundation: "2017 Revised Classification of Seizures," "Focal Onset Aware Seizures (simple partial seizures)."

AboutKidsHealth: "Simple Partial Seizures."

UpToDate: "Seizures and epilepsy in children: Classification, etiology, and clinical features."

Nationwide Children's Hospital of Wisconsin: "Seizures: Focal (Partial)," "Seizures and Epilepsy."

Epilepsy Action: "Focal Seizures."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Seizures and Epilepsy in Children."

University of Rochester Medical Center: "Epilepsy and Seizures in Children."

Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago: "Epilepsy in Children."

NYU Langone Health: "Types of Epilepsy & Seizure Disorders in Children."

ColumbiaDoctors: "Pediatric Epilepsy."

Boston Children's Hospital: "Seizures symptoms & causes in children."

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava on March 22, 2018

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What happens during a focal onset seizure?

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