Can someone explain the difference between a true seizure and just a partial seizure?

Boozer

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I have been reading a lot about different types of seizures and don't really understand the difference between having just an aura or a partial seizure or a generalized seizure. Could someone direct me to the answers or explain it to me? Just a little confused is all. Thank you ahead of time. Erin
 

chmmr

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Here, this might help:

https://www.epilepsy.com/epilepsy/types_seizures

Basically an aura is the start of a "misfire" in your brain, and is actually a partial seizure from what i have been told (for those that get them). There are lots of kinds of partial seizures, depending on what area of the brain they happen in (but partial seizures are what are called focal seizures because they have a "focus" or start, in one area of the brain). Generalized seizures are seizures that happen throughout the brain, with no specific area.

Clear as mud? Not sure if i explained that well or not.............
 

holly

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hey, i beleive i suffer from simple partials 'auras' the my symptoms are i get a building of nausia lke i have stomach flu its horrible, i get a smell, avisual of a place or a recolection of something that i can see, sometimes im scared of it sometimes im just confused by 'why' its hapening, my head floats (turns) to the left, and noting is 'real' to me, i also get a tingling or a feeling that my blood has drained and iscold and rushing through my veins from my neck to my hands sometimes my feet too... dizziness confusion memory loss and shere exaustion body aches and a headahe i wouldnt wish on anyone.... now a simple parial my contain all or one of the symptos
 

Boozer

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Thank you Holly that was very helpful and I read the link as well. I'm starting to feel a little more positive about all this. I am more hopeful that the doc will be able to sort things out even if I don't understand fully all the different types I am starting to understand myself a little bit better everyday. The hard part for me is before and after. It doesn't help I get migraines too. But the doc is getting ready to treat that with better medication than previously. I think the hardest part is the waiting. That drives me nuts. Thank you again. Erin
 

dejavudu

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Hi, Boozer. Nice to see someone else from PA. :)

Have you had an EEG, yet? I think between the data collected from the EEG and the experience you describe, the doctor will be able to explain what's going on.

I get auras and partials, but have had a few seizures generalize. The experience is different. I've also dealt with doctors who insist on telling me one is the other, so I think it's better to just describe the experience. You know, I don't need names to tell one from the other. That's what gets me by with the least friction.
 

Boozer

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I had one EEG and is normal. My MRI was normal as well. My CT scan showed a hypodensity on the left frontal lobe. I am starting to notice I also get auras with my migraines. Not sure if they are connected or not. Basically as I can tell I black out with the seizures and not with the headaches. The auras are also more intense with the seizure than with the headache. What sucks is when they both occur at the same time. I think you're right about one thing it doesn't really matter what they are called it's just having them happen that is important to know. I know I had an aura with the photosensitivity part of the EEG and started to get a headache. Not sure if it would have led to a seizure though. They are starting me on Noratriptaline for the headaches I hope to get some relief. I have migraines nearly everyday. Short seizures several times a month and a longer seizure about once every two to three months as far as I can tell. I just hope I don't get a quack for a doc and they are able to figure this all out. Thanks Erin
 
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Hi Boozer,
I personally never have had any "auras", which I hate, because at least I could lay down or something. I have a history of partial, nocturnal, staring episodes, grand-mal & tonic clonic. I have such a mixture of them it's ridiculous, not to mention periodic migraines. I just basically pray everyday that I don't go into a full blown Grand-mal, but I can't stop the nocturnal & staring types. Last time I had an EEG, study shows constant seizure activity happening all over the brain 24-7, so I just take meds and pray like the dickens I won't have one. But if I do, I do, it's part of my life, I just have come to a place where, I don't let this rule my life. You shouldn't either. It takes a bit to get there for some, but I pray you will.
Many Blessings my Friend,
Terri
 

Boozer

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Thank you for your support. It really helps to know people out there live life the best they can despite epilepsy I hope they can help you more and I will pray for you as well. Lots of positive thoughts and prayer. Erin
 

valeriedl

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I actually didn't know what an aura was until I joined this web site. I didn't realize that when I'd feel dizzy, my lips would tingle, get confused and couldn't think sraight were auras. Everyone's auras can be different though.

I have a VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulator). It's an implant in my chest that is hooked on to the vagus nerve. When I feel a seizure coming on I have a magnet that I rub over it that will turn it on and help to stop the seizure.

Since I didn't know what an aura was I didn't know when I should be using it, now I do. My only problem though is most of my auras are short so by the time I realize that I'm having one and need to use the magnet it's too late because I've gone into the seizure.
 

bridge

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Can you have an aura yet not have the seizure? Or can an aura be a seizure? I think I have these auras sometimes, but they don't turn into full blown seizures.. Or are these auras simple partials? Im still trying to get used to what everything is..
 

holly

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hope this helps

Simple partial seizure


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Simple partial seizures are seizures which affect only a small region of the brain, often the temporal lobes or hippocampi. People who have simple partial seizures retain consciousness.[1] Simple partial seizures are often precursors to larger seizures, where the abnormal electrical activity spreads to a larger area of (or all of) the brain, usually resulting in a complex partial seizure or a tonic-clonic seizure.[2] In this case they are often known as an aura.
Presentation[edit source]

Simple partial seizures are a very subjective experience, and the symptoms of a simple partial seizure vary greatly between people. This is due to the varying locations of the brain the seizures originate in e.g.: Rolandic. A simple partial seizure may go unnoticed by others or shrugged off by the sufferer as merely a "funny turn". Simple partial seizures usually start suddenly and are very brief.[3] It is unusual for them to occur in isolation as they usually lead to other forms of partial seizure.[3]

While awake some common symptoms of simple partial seizures are:[1]
preserved consciousness
sudden and inexplicable feelings of fear, anger, sadness, happiness or nausea
sensations of falling or movement
experiencing of unusual feelings or sensations
altered sense of hearing, smelling, tasting, seeing, and tactile perception (sensory illusions or hallucinations), or feeling as though the environment is not real (derealization) or dissociation from the environment or self (depersonalization)
a sense of spatial distortion—things close by may appear to be at a distance.
déjà vu (familiarity) or jamais vu (unfamiliarity)
laboured speech or inability to speak at all
usually the event is remembered in detail

When the seizure occurs during sleep, the person will often become semi-conscious and act out a dream while engaging with the environment as normal, and objects and people usually appear normal or only slightly distorted, being able to communicate with them on an otherwise normal level. However, since the person is acting in a dream-like state, they will assimilate any hallucinations or delusions into their communication, often speaking to a hallucinatory person or speaking of events or thoughts normally pertaining to a dream or other hallucination.

While asleep symptoms include:
onset usually in REM sleep
dream like state
appearance of full consciousness
hallucinations or delusions
behavior or visions typical in dreams
ability to engage with the environment and other people as in full consciousness, though often behaving abnormally, erratically, or failing to be coherent
complete amnesia or assimilating the memory as though it was a normal dream on regaining full consciousness

Although hallucinations may occur during simple partial seizures they are differentiated from psychotic symptoms by the fact that the person is usually aware that the hallucinations are not real.[3]
 

bridge

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Wow, I must be having these simple partials pretty often then... If I am on medication, technically for tonic clonic am I not supposed to be having these ones? I mean, they don't cause me any problems with anything now, but if im on medication is it okay I am still having these feelings, auras?
 

holly

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hey, im not the best nor the most experienced with all this terminology haha, but in short an aura is a seizure ... and often (if im correct in my understanding) preceds or warns that a TC could follow, a lot of people say that had an aura and then woke in the ER so I would definatly speak to your neurologist regarding this maybe your medicine isn't fully controlling .... again I really don't know anything about medication my knowledge is just what I have read about best be safe and go to your Dr

wishing you the best
~Holly
 

CQ:)

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Can you have an aura yet not have the seizure? Or can an aura be a seizure? I think I have these auras sometimes, but they don't turn into full blown seizures.. Or are these auras simple partials? Im still trying to get used to what everything is..
An aura is also known as a simple partial.
Sometimes you can have a simple partial & not have any seizure afterwards or you can have the simple partial then it be followed by a complex partial or Toni Clonic.

My seizures are usually simple/complex partials. I would usually get the aura ( a strange dream & the need to go to the toilet) then most of the time I would go into the complex partial (staring in space, not making sense when I talk, doing strange things). I usually don't remember anything once the dream comes in my head & I get that feeling that I need to go to the toilet until after I come out of the seizure.
Sometimes I have had seizures in front of family/friends so would have to go by what they witnessed as to what I did. I've been told I've stared into space, not made sense when I spoke or just done some weird things.
 

Boozer

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Wow! Thanks for all the information. I understand a lot more. I need to learn how to differentiate between the auras for my headaches and seizures most definitely. Maybe they are both linked. Does anyone know if headaches can cause seizures or vice versa. I know the seizures can cause headaches. But can headaches cause seizures? I'm kinda curious because I get a lot of the same symptoms when I get a headache, wondering if it's a partial before the headache or what it may be. Any ideas?
Erin
 

chmmr

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Wow! Thanks for all the information. I understand a lot more. I need to learn how to differentiate between the auras for my headaches and seizures most definitely. Maybe they are both linked. Does anyone know if headaches can cause seizures or vice versa. I know the seizures can cause headaches. But can headaches cause seizures? I'm kinda curious because I get a lot of the same symptoms when I get a headache, wondering if it's a partial before the headache or what it may be. Any ideas?
Erin

I think that's one best discussed with your neuro to be honest. Every person hasn't different triggers for their seizures and certainly pain could trigger a seizure in some people so it's very possible they could. The only way for sure they could tell is if you were hooked up to an EEG when you had one and it triggered a seizure.
 

Boozer

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I don't get to see a neurologist until Oct 2 I don't know why it is taking so long but it is. I guess it's not a priority to my doc or something. Really frustrated Erin
 

pccoder

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Sometimes I have had seizures in front of family/friends so would have to go by what they witnessed as to what I did. I've been told I've stared into space, not made sense when I spoke or just done some weird things.
Me too! I have learned recently that the nonsense that would come out of my mouth was actually me having a partial seizure. My ambulatory EEG showed spikes in the left temporal lobe, and my neurologist says this is the language center of the brain; therefore when I would start to have a simple partial seizure in this part of my brain what I would experience is an inability to speak meaningful words or understand anything until it passes. This typically takes about 20 to 30 seconds. What's so frustrating is that I'm completely aware that it's happening.
 
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