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Focal Epilepsy


Topic Overview

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.

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 cause.

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.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerSteven C. Schachter, MD - Neurology
Last RevisedAugust 26, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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