Seizure Disorder, Partial
Medicine Central™ is a quick-consult mobile and web resource that includes diagnosis, treatment, medications, and follow-up information on over 700 diseases and disorders, providing fast answers—anytime, anywhere. Explore these free sample topics:
-- The first section of this topic is shown below --
- Seizures occur when abnormal synchronous neuronal discharges in the brain cause transient cortical dysfunction.
- Generalized seizures involve bilateral cerebral cortex from the seizure’s onset.
- Partial seizures originate from a discrete focus in the cerebral cortex.
- Partial seizures are further divided into simple and complex subtypes:
- If consciousness is impaired during a partial seizure, it is classified as complex.
- If consciousness is preserved, it is a simple partial seizure.
Partial seizures occur in 20/100,000 persons in the United States.
Etiology and Pathophysiology
- Partial seizures begin when a localized seizure focus produces an abnormal, synchronized depolarization that spreads to a discrete portion of the surrounding cortex.
- The area of cortex involved in the seizure determines the symptoms; for example, an epileptogenic focus in motor cortex produces contralateral motor symptoms.
- In some cases, etiology is related to structural abnormalities that are susceptible to epileptogenesis. Most common etiologies vary by life stage:
- Early childhood: developmental/congenital malformation, trauma
- Young adults: developmental, infection, trauma
- Adults 40 to 60 years of age: cerebrovascular insult, infection, trauma
- Adults >60 years of age: cerebrovascular insult, trauma, neoplasm
- Complex partial seizures: A common cause is mesial temporal sclerosis.
Benign rolandic epilepsy, a form of partial seizure disorder, has an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern with penetrance depending on multiple factors.
- History of traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Children exposed to a thiamine-deficient formula
Commonly Associated Conditions
Epilepsy patients have a higher incidence of depression than the general population.