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Temporal lobe epilepsy is characterized by recurrent seizures arising from one or both temporal lobes of the brain. Although the causes of temporal lobe epilepsy remain uncertain, it is associated with certain risk factors, including febrile seizures during infancy, physical trauma, brain infection, tumor/cyst/lesion. Oftentimes it can be the result of an abnormality such as a lesion.
The individual with temporal lobe epilepsy may not be aware that he or she is having seizures; the symptoms may even mimic those of low blood sugar. The affected individual may have short time lapses where actions cannnot be accounted for, where he or she is momentarily frozen in a paused state. These are considered complex partial seizures. Seizures may also manifest as simple partial seizures, which include a range of behaviors or manifestations, but consciousness is maintained. During these seizures, the individual is fully aware and alert. Generalized tonic clonic seizures can also ensue, where there is active and uncontrolled movement ranging from twitching to thrashing. Regardless of the event, the individual may be disoriented directly following the seizure, and he or she may exhibit strong emotions dependent on the reactions of others if present.
There are oral medications available for management of epileptic seizures, but with incompletely understood mechanisms of action. Surgery, if applicable, may also be a viable alternative if the individual has intractible epilepsy--indicating failure on at least three full courses of medications, typically. Monitoring of treatment is done using EEGs, CT scans, MRI imaging, other imaging tests and cognitive testing, oral interviews, and coordination tests.
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