All seizures are caused by abnormal electrical disturbances in the brain. Partial (focal) seizures occur when this electrical activity remains in a limited area of the brain. The seizures may sometimes turn into generalized seizures, which affect the whole brain. This is called secondary generalization.
Partial seizures can be further characterized as:
- Simple -- not affecting awareness or memory
- Complex -- affecting awareness or memory of events before, during, and immediately after the seizure, and affecting behavior
For more information, see:
Epilepsy Seizures Generalized tonic clonic seizure (grand mal seizure) Petit mal seizure
Focal seizure; Jacksonian seizure; Seizure - partial (focal); Temporal lobe seizure
Review Date: 01/23/2010
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, and Department of Anatomy at UCSF, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.