Complex Partial Seizures / Epilepsy

Complex Partial Seizures / Complex Partial Epilepsy

  • Affects me occassionally

    Votes: 62 33.7%
  • Affects me frequently

    Votes: 76 41.3%
  • My Complex Partials are controlled

    Votes: 43 23.4%
  • My Complex Partials are uncontrolled / poorly controlled

    Votes: 73 39.7%
  • Complex Partials restricts me from doing things I would like to do

    Votes: 73 39.7%
  • I've been declared intractable / refractory

    Votes: 26 14.1%
  • I am undergoing alternative methods

    Votes: 18 9.8%
  • I am on too many / too little medication(s)

    Votes: 28 15.2%
  • I feel that Complex Partials isolates me

    Votes: 69 37.5%
  • I feel Complex Partials have ruined my life

    Votes: 40 21.7%

  • Total voters

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This vote and comments section applies to those
who suffers from Complex Partial Seizures.

Here are some partial quotes:


Complex partial seizures cause impaired consciousness and arise from a single brain region. Impaired consciousness implies decreased responsiveness and awareness of self and surroundings. During a complex partial seizure, the patient may not communicate, respond to commands, or remember events that occurred. Consciousness might not be impaired completely. During a complex partial seizure, some patients may make simple verbal responses, follow simple commands, or continue to perform simple or, less commonly, complex motor behaviors such as operating a car. Complex partial seizures typically arise from the temporal lobe but may arise from any cortical region.

Automatisms are quasi-purposeful motor or verbal behaviors that commonly accompany complex partial seizures. The behavior is called quasi-purposeful because it is repeated inappropriately or is inappropriate for the situation. Verbal automatisms range from simple vocalizations, such as moaning, to more complex, comprehensible, stereotyped speech.

Automatisms also may occur during nonepileptic states of confusion (eg, metabolic encephalopathy), after ictus, and during absence seizures. Motor automatisms are classified as simple or complex. Simple motor automatisms include oral automatisms (eg, lip smacking, chewing, swallowing) and manual automatisms (eg, picking, fumbling, patting). Unilateral manual automatisms accompanied by contralateral arm dystonia usually indicates seizure onset from the cerebral hemisphere ipsilateral to the manual automatisms.

Complex motor automatisms are more elaborate, coordinated movements involving bilateral extremities. Examples of complex motor automatisms are cycling movements of the legs and stereotyped swimming movements. De novo automatisms often begin after seizure onset. In other cases, perseverative automatisms occur as repetitions of motor activity that began before the seizure. Bizarre automatisms such as alternating limb movements, right-to-left head rolling, or sexual automatisms may occur with frontal-lobe seizures.

Seizures often begin with a brief aura (simple partial seizure) lasting seconds and then becomes a complex partial seizure. The type of aura is related to the site of cortical onset. Temporal-lobe seizures often begin with a rising abdominal sensation, fear, unreality, or déjà vu. Parietal-lobe seizures may begin with an electrical sensation, tingling, or numbness. Occipital-lobe seizures may begin with visual changes, such as the perception of colored lines, spots, or shapes or even a loss of vision.

Complex partial seizures of the temporal lobe often begin with a motionless stare followed by simple oral or motor automatisms. In contrast, frontal-lobe seizures often begin with vigorous motor automatisms or stereotyped clonic or tonic activity. Extratemporal-lobe seizures may spread quickly to the frontal lobe and produce motor behaviors similar to those associated with complex partial seizures of the frontal lobe. Tonic and dystonic arm posturing may occur in the arm contralateral to the seizure focus. Sustained head or eye turning contralateral to the seizure focus may occur immediately before or simultaneously with clonic or tonic activity elsewhere.

Complex partial seizures often last 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Longer seizures may occur, particularly when the seizures become generalized convulsions. Complex partial status epilepticus may also occur with prolonged episodes of waxing and waning of consciousness.


Complex Partial Seizures

'During a complex partial seizure, a person cannot interact normally with other people.'

Complex partial seizures affect a larger area of the brain than simple partial seizures and they affect consciousness.

During a complex partial seizure, a person cannot interact normally with other people, is not in control of his or her movements, speech or actions; doesn't know what he or she is doing; and cannot remember afterwards what happened during the seizure.

Although someone may appear to be conscious because he or she remains standing with eyes open and moving about, it will be an altered consciousness - a dreamlike, almost trancelike state.

A person may even be able to speak, but the words are unlikely to make sense and he or she will not be able to respond to others in an appropriate way.

Although complex partial seizures can affect any area of the brain, they often take place in one of the brain's two temporal lobes. Because of this, the condition is sometimes called "temporal lobe epilepsy."

"Psychomotor epilepsy" is another term doctors may use to describe complex partial seizures.

Typically, a complex partial seizure starts with a blank stare and loss of contact with surroundings.

This is often followed by chewing movements with the mouth, picking at or fumbling with clothing, mumbling and performing simple, unorganized movements over and over again.

Sometimes people wander around during complex partial seizures. For example, a person might leave a room, go downstairs and out into the street, completely unaware of what he or she was doing.

In rare cases, a person might try to undress during a seizure, or become very agitated, screaming, running or making flailing movements with his arms or bicycling movements with his legs.

Other complex partial seizures may cause a person to run in apparent fear, or cry out, or repeat the same phrase over and over again.

Actions and movements are typically unorganized, confused and unfocused during a complex partial seizure.

However, if a complex partial seizure suddenly begins while someone is in the middle of a repetitive action – like dealing cards or stirring a cup of coffee – he or she may stare for a moment then continue with the action during the seizure, but in a mechanical, unorganized kind of way.


These seizures usually start in a small area of the temporal lobe or frontal lobe of the brain. They quickly involve other areas of the brain that affect alertness and awareness. So even though the person's eyes are open and they may make movements that seem to have a purpose, in reality "nobody's home." If the symptoms are subtle, other people may think the person is just daydreaming.

Some people can have seizures of this kind without realizing that anything has happened. Because the seizure can wipe out memories of events just before or after it, however, memory lapses can be a problem.

Some of these seizures (usually ones beginning in the temporal lobe) start with a simple partial seizure. Also called an aura, this warning seizure often includes an odd feeling in the stomach. Then the person loses awareness and stares blankly. Most people move their mouth, pick at the air or their clothing, or perform other purposeless actions. These movements are called "automatisms" (aw-TOM-ah-TIZ-ums). Less often, people may repeat words or phrases, laugh, scream, or cry. Some people do things during these seizures that can be dangerous or embarrassing, such as walking into traffic or taking their clothes off. These people need to take precautions in advance.

Complex partial seizures starting in the frontal lobe tend to be shorter than the ones from the temporal lobe. The seizures that start in the frontal lobe are also more likely to include automatisms like bicycling movements of the legs or pelvic thrusting.

Some complex partial seizures turn into secondarily generalized seizures.

Feel free to bring about any discussion as
you wish, and you may click on the links above
to learn more in details.
The Poll is PRIVATE and you can vote as many
options as it applies to you.

Mine are odd. I do on occasion have what sounds like a complex partial seizure. I've walked into my bedroom and laid down on the bed and then wondered how I got there. The 7 year old said I was walking really weird and made a grunting type sound. Which is kind of odd because I've never had them before. I've always gotten the generalized clonic tonics in the past.
I do lose consciousness as a simple partial escalates. Sometimes, the simple partial just seems to melt(for lack of a better word)into a complex partial. Sometimes, the boundary between the two is more defined. Not all my simple partials escalate however.
My seizures are mostly complex partial seizures. Every now and then I have a grand mal seizure stink in. My seizures happen on both side of the brain. When I had the first brain surgery the doctor asked me if I wanted the left or right side done. When I the had the surgery they removed the front left temporal lobe of the brain. The second surgery I had the vagus nerve stimulater put in. I still do have seizures about every other week.
My seizures were under control until I went on a new medication. Then, they came back again-with several heat strokes because I couln't control my body temperature. Now, that medicine has just now left my body and was doing fine. But a few days ago I was started on a med called Atenolol, which is a beta blocker, but I am on it for migraines. I already have low blood pressure and am bradycardiac, and it is making both worse. I have been seizing less, but passing out more.

Now to get to the point. My meds did control my seizures. Until other medications that were introduced into my coctail. I usually do have CP seizures. The meds weren't to control seizures, but all of them had the rare side effect of messing with your CNS. Lucky me. Now, I am having a bit of problems with CP seizures and passing because of those extra drugs. Because without them, I believe I would be fine.

If you would have asked me this question two years ago, you would've gotten a different answer. But now, I would say they do not bother me and are quite controlled.
Complex Partials gives me a Complex Partially!


That's about as quirky one-liner I can
drum up with!

But honestly, when Complex Partials strikes,
I have no memory of anything that happens,
but I do get the auras before it happens, and
while it can range from being mild to severe;
it can also go into back-to-backs.

I hate it the most when I have Absence and
then it generalizes to Complex Partials, and I've
had cases where I've bounced back and forth
between the two (back-to-backs).

Then I've had in some cases where it's extended
(severe cases) where it's generalized to Tonic Clonic.

One of the most unusual one was in late end of
December 2006, where I had back-to-back
Tonic-Clonics - then it generalized to back-to-back
Complex Partials before it waned off. (However, it
is unknown if I had seizures before that Tonic
Clonic came to being because I was asleep and
alone during that time, and when discovered,
was in Tonic Clonic phase).

I don't have any memory of any of these events,
which makes it frustrating - while I often do remember
the auras but what happened afterwards - that I
do not know, but when I come out of it; I loathe
finding myself in places where I don't know how I
got there - such as in the Emergency Room, or
in the Patient Room in Hospital, or in my bed, or
somewhere in the House, because everything for
a moment becomes like a fog.

Even when they ask me all these questions .. I am
left with :?: :? :?: over my head. I have no idea.
But when its witnessed, they are able to say what
happened - and I've often become suspicious of
the things they say, where I've often wondered
if they're telling "fish stories" or "exaggerating"
or "lying" or ..... I found it very hard for me to
comprehend and grasp that these things happened
to me. But I learned - whether from my son, (ex)
husband, the Medical Personnel, from the repetitions;
that these things were so.

At least I'm not a violent type person, but rather
of one of incoherent, disorientated, confused,
dazed, staggers like a drunk, slurred speech or
intelligible speech, wanders aimlessly, does things
what they told me was "automatism", but the good
thing is, I am easily lead and I am like a "child" unless
I loose consciousness and collapses and that's
where the danger lies and when I get hurt.

It's like my brain just like a electrical breaker, when
it's overloaded, it will trip the switch and shut every-
thing off. That's the best way I could describe it in
my own words, and that's where I get hurt.

The worse part is majority of these occur during
the nocturnal for most of my life, until beginning
of mid-90s when seizures began to manifest during
daytime, which was a rare event for me, and it
gradually increased in 2005 and had been on the
rise where it's about equal, night and day now.

It knocks out my sleep cycles out completely,
and it's frustrating!

(But thank goodness I'm heading to Cleveland Clinic
now - hopefully they will get this poorly controlled
seizures under some sort of control, since I also have
other medical problems too)
CP is no fun - it is accompanied in the TL w/all sorts of memory probs and personality quirks.

I too hate being on the PC one moment and next thing "I" know, I'm in the ER with 5 patches of unsuccessful IV's and no remembrance..........especially when I was only taken in an undershirt and panties and then the water flows and flows and flows and they cut off the undies and I'm so big they just LAY a "one size fits all" (all but me) gown OVER me!! I called Carey from a cellphone I begged from a security guard and all but cussed Carey out and told him to bring me some CLOTHES!!! My reg dr came in and after being told I would be admitted, I looked my doc in the eye and said "I'M GOING HOME N O W!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" He kinda shrunk down real low and said ok.

However, since that time, I had a "premonition" and had a bag packed, and now have a good cellphone, and sure enough had a 7 day stay in a hospital - lost track of how many this yr.

I don't have that "premonition" now and so now nothing is packed.

It IS a good idea though to have a bag with extra clothes (incase of "oops"), cell phone charger, toiletries - not all hospitals give what you need or like, pen(s) in case 1 quits, and a notebook, PDA if you have all of your phone #'s in it, list of your meds, list of your docs, and whatever!!

I need to repack my bag, no "premonition", just experienced wisdom in this matter.

One never knows when the great E will strike!!! hate it.
Hi Brain,

What a super link you gave me. I wish I had read something like that several years ago. About 8 or 9 years ago I spent 2 days at Ohio State University Hospital on 24 hours EEG while they filmed me were trying to catch as many CP as they could. They video taped me and gave me a copy of a part where I had one of the seizures. I wish I had never watched the video. Dr. Drake, the Chief of Neurology at the time, said mine start in the right frontal lobe and he did not recommend surgery--only about a 10% chance of helping me. I didn't want to be half bald for 10% at that time. I really wasn't so bad yet.

The link you sent me describes me pretty much completely. BTW, since I had the second grand mal seizure on October 16. I haven't had another of any kind since then. That's only two seizures in two months. I should go out and celebrate! I'll have a New York strip medium rare, please.
not realizing what you are doing

(quote)Examples of complex motor automatisms are cycling movements of the legs (/quote)

sometimes I will look down and realize I am circling my right ankle in circles over and over and not realize I had been doing it. If I try to deliberately do the circles w/L ankle it is all jerky and like a spass. I don't know if it is seizure related or habit from physical therapy from when I broke the R ankle yrs ago.

Someone said something else - but I forgot it

It's almost midnite, good nite all.

But Hawke..... you never would have met me if you didn't have them. So it isn't entirely ruined :agree:
My neuro has diagnosed me as having complex partial seizures but I remember mine and I seem to only have the deja vu dreamlike part and then I realise it's happening and can bring myself out of it. I don't remember all the details of that dreamlike state but I do remember some and that it happened. They have only ever happened in the shower and if I am washing my hair at the time, I continue to do it for the entire time. Afterwards I feel really nauseas and on occasion I have been sick afterwards as well.

I'm with RobinN, Hawke. You wouldn't have met either one of us if you didn't have them! But, :agree: too. :paperbag:

That said, I don't recall ever having had any, but then again, my memory is so screwed up, who knows? I may have.......
They have only ever happened in the shower and if I am washing my hair at the time, I continue to do it for the entire time.

First, don't know if I welcomed you or not, WELCOME!!
A BUNCH of my "zonk out" seizures happen in bathroom after urination - and blood tests show at times I run low this or that, so now I wonder if in elimination the blood lowers its various electrolytes.
If you are aware, that sounds more like partial complex, however, I am new to all of the pc's and cp's - up until recently I was "unaware" and only knew of grand-mals and petit-mals, as do so many people.

No two people are alike. Hope everything goes well with you with this neurologist and medications - many have to be adjusted time and time again -

question for the audience out there - has anyone ever been on one med, one dose and that was that???
Glad to meet you.
Actually ziggidypoo I have only been on 1 medicine so far and it worked straight away. The last seizure I had was 2 days before I started this medication and that was 6 months ago. I know it's still early days but I feel like mine was put under control really easily.
I have only been on 1 medicine so far and it worked straight away. The last seizure I had was 2 days before I started this medication and that was 6 months ago. I know it's still early days but I feel like mine was put under control really easily.

That's excellent that you had quick response to the
anti-epileptic drug, for many, it takes time with trial
and error, and consider yourself one LUCKY PERSON!
There are some out there that landed a "GRAND SLAM
HOMERUN" on the first drug!

Congrats on that!

My aura is usually a wierd feeling in my stomach or loss of hearing, then I start speaking in garbled speach. I always say the same words, "I want to go home now." Then I am gone. My seizure lasts for about a minute to a minute in a half. My one friend told me I recently stared off and started folding the napkin over and over and when I "came back" I acted like nothing was wrong. I also have drop seizures, where I just drop wherever I am. I hate those. And I hate the ones where I can hear people, but my body won't let me talk or anything. I feel like I am in a coma. Personally these seizures have also ruined my life. Has anyone ever had the ones where you smell sulfur and you think something is burning? I hate those too. But I tell you, my soon to be ex-husband couldn't deal with it, so I met a wonderful man who could. So there are people out there who love you no matter what.:banana:
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