Focal (Formerly Simple Partial)

Focal seizures take on many forms. A muscle may jerk uncontrollably in one area of the body. A focal seizure may involve any of the senses. A person may hear, see, or smell things that are not there. Or there may be an unusual sensation in the skin, such as tingling or numbness. He or she may have difficulty speaking. The person may experience emotions of joy, fear; anger, or a sense of deja vu.

Focal seizures are also called auras, especially if they occur just before a larger seizure. People usually remain fully awake during focal seizures.

May look like the person is acting out, mental or psychosomatic illness or mystical experience

Focal Dyscognitive or Focal with Impaired Awareness (Formerly Complex Partial)

With these seizures, consciousness becomes impaired, but not lost. They may start with a blank stare, and the person may remain unresponsive or speak in ways that do not make sense. A common feature is random, repeated movements, called automatisms. Some automatisms are lip smacking, swallowing, chewing, picking at clothing, random walking, fumbling of hands, or mumbling.  During the seizure the person is unaware and unresponsive. The person may become frightened and run or struggle if restrained or approached suddenly and loudly. The same set of actions will appear with each seizure. There will be confusion afterwards and no memory of the seizure.

May look like the person is drunk or on drugs, mentally ill, or disorderly

Share This