Psychomotor Epilepsy

Epilepsy Information 2012

Psychomotor Epilepsy

Psychomotor epilepsy, also known as temporal lobe epilepsy, is a known type of epilepsy which is largely confined to an identified location in the brain. Unlike general epilepsy where the origins of the seizures are not identified, focal epilepsy cases like psychomotor epilepsies give doctors a very defined area to study and assess in order to identify the cause and then subsequently treat the seizures arising from the specific condition. In this case, psychomotor epilepsy can be traced to both temporal lobes and this is where doctors focus all their attention in order to definitively treat the patient in the fastest, safest, and most effective way possible.

Before ruling an epilepsy case to be of the psychomotor variety, doctors look through the symptoms and compare it with known medical records. Symptoms that typically characterize psychomotor epilepsy include:

Simple Partial Seizures. These are the most basic types of seizures where a patient’s consciousness is not affected but the doctors are sure that the temporal lobe is active because patients experience weird and unnatural sensations such as having a déjà vu or feeling as if one is detached from the body. Heightened senses are also indicators of simple partial seizures. During the whole seizure, the patient is awake and conscious, which helps explain why the characterization indicates that consciousness is not affected. In fact, in many cases, patients do not even know that they are already experiencing simple partial seizures until doctors point it out in a controlled setting.

Complex Partial Seizures. Not all simple partial episodes remain partial throughout the whole attack. In many cases, seizures spread to other parts of the temporal lobe resulting to complex partial seizures where the consciousness of the patient is impaired. Common examples include staying motionless for a few minutes, staring, or involuntary muscular movements.

Seizures that begin in the temporal lobe but spread throughout the brain also fall into the category of psychomotor epilepsy although eventual treatment normally demands something more comprehensive and potent.

Because a psychomotor epilepsy case is already traced to a specific location, it is easier for doctors to administer the proper treatment. In many cases, that involves medication specifically targeted to react with the temporal lobe and eliminate the cause of the problem. Examples include valproate, primidone, and newer variants like topiramate, and gabapentin.

In the most extreme of cases, psychomotor epilepsy might require surgery to repair structural abnormalities in the temporal lobe which results in the seizures. However, a lot has to go into the decision-making process of getting a temporal lobectomy as this is not a procedure that is simple nor straightforward. Despite the years of documented success on this front, doctors would still prefer to avoid the surgery if other methods are available to facilitate treatment.

Do not be afraid if you know of somebody who has psychomotor epilepsy. Do doubt, recent developments in medicine have all helped to improve the success rates of many temporal lobe epilepsy treatment options. Instead, try to document and report the case as soon as possible in order to give it the best chance of fast recovery and complete treatment from whatever is the cause of the psychomotor epilepsy case. You will find that early reporting can significantly boost the chance of complete recovery versus allowing the condition to continue with getting proper diagnosis and treatment.