Temporal lobe epilepsy

Temporal lobe epilepsy, abbreviated as TLE, is a seizure disorder that is characterized by seizures that originate in the media or lateral temporal lobe of the brain. The temporal lobes are located on each side of the head just above the ears. Temporal lobe epilepsy is a very common form of epilepsy. People who have temporal lobe epilepsy can have episodes of simple partial seizures which means that they do not lose their sense of awareness or they can have complex partial seizures that causes their memory to be impaired. The deeper parts of the temporal lobes affect a person’s emotions and memory aspects. The person with TLE may only have one seizure or many recurring seizures.

If the person is having a complex partial seizure and they lose their consciousness that means that both temporal lobes are involved instead of only one. A partial seizure where the person does not ask the lose consciousness generally only involves one temporal lobe. This type of epilepsy can also cause a person to perform certain actions which they are unaware that they are doing. People who have is kind of epilepsy are also prone to having sudden bouts of anger or agitation. An example for me in action at the person may be aware of is that they may rub their hands together or may be smacking their lips without realizing it. It is common for child who has temporal lobe epilepsy stop whatever activity they are doing and to not be able to respond when spoken to during the seizure.

There are two known causes for temporal lobe epilepsy. These causes are bacterial meningitis and head injuries that can lead to scarring in the temporal lobes. Temporal lobe epilepsy can vary in intensity from person to person. A seizure of this type can last for as little as a few seconds up to a few minutes. The seizure may start off with a wide-eyed motionless stare. The pupils of the eyes will be dilated and the person having the seizure will stop doing what ever they were doing. There may be automatic oral movements such as lip smacking, chewing or swallowing. The limbs may or may not be involved, such as in the case of hand rubbing. The after effects of the seizure may be a period of confusion. Temporal lobe epilepsy most often begins in early childhood.

This type of epilepsy is very hard to diagnose because it may not show up when an EEG is done. This type of epilepsy is most often controlled with medications. It may take only one type of medication to control the seizures or it may take a combination of medications. Repeated episodes of temporal lobe seizures can often times damage the Hippocampus which is a part of the brain that affects learning and memory. Once seizures are controlled and the person drinks alcohol or uses recreational drugs or skips their medication the seizures may return. Pregnancy also can affect women who have had their seizures under control with medication also. People who are not able to control their seizures with medications may have to undergo a temporal lobe resection. This option may also be used if the side effects of medications are significantly impairing the quality of life of the person with temporal lobe epilepsy. This type of surgery involves the removing of the abnormal part of the temporal lobe.

The most common medications for temporal lobe epilepsy are phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine valproic acid (Depakene), phenobarbital, lamotrigine (Lamictal), topiramate (Topamax), tiagabine (Gabitril) and zonisamide (Zonegran).

Some other common symptoms that are related to temporal lobe epilepsy include such things as a sudden sense of unprovoked fear, unusual visions, smells, tastes or other sensory illusions as well as nausea. There will be changes in the person’s speech, vision, awareness and personality. A rapid heart rate and pulse may also be experienced. People who have temporal lobe epilepsy should wear medic-alert bracelet that indicate what type of seizure disorder they have.

Last updated on Nov 22nd, 2009 and filed under Neurological Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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