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Epilepsy: Focal Aware Seizures

Overview

Focal aware seizures (sometimes called simple partial seizures) occur in children and adults with some forms of epilepsy. They are about half as common as focal impaired awareness seizures.

The person stays awake and aware during the seizure. The seizure may be only a strange smell or taste, sound or visual disturbance, or feeling of confusion, anxiety, or fear—some people describe this as an aura. The person's arms, face, or hands may briefly stiffen, tingle, flex, or jerk, but this doesn't always occur. Eyes may blink rapidly during the seizure. The person may cry out or may not be able to speak.

Focal aware seizures affect only those muscles or body parts controlled by the specific area of the brain where the seizure begins. After the seizure, the person may feel weak or numb in that area of his or her body (often one side of the face, one hand, or one arm).

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: December 13, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Steven C. Schachter MD - Neurology