Types of Epilepsy
There are many different types of epilepsy each with different causes, symptoms and treatments. When making a diagnosis of epilepsy, your doctor may use one of the following terms: idiopathic, cryptogenic, symptomatic, generalized, focal, or partial. Idiopathic means there is no apparent cause. Cryptogenic means there is a likely cause, but it has not been identified. Symptomatic means that a cause has been identified. Generalized means that the seizures (electrical storms) are involving the whole brain at once. Focal or partial means that the electrical storm starts from one area of the brain.
Some of the most common being:
Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
- Temporal lobe epilepsy
- Frontal lobe epilepsy
- Occipital lobe epilepsy
- Parietal lobe epilepsy
- Absence epilepsy
Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most frequent cause of partial seizures and aura. The temporal lobe is located close to the ear. It is the part of the brain where smell is processed and where the choice is made to express a thought or remain silent.
TLE often begins in childhood. Repeated TLE seizures can damage the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is important for memory and learning. Although the damage progresses very slowly, it is important to treat TLE as early as possible.
Frontal Lobe Epilepsy
The frontal lobes of the brain lie behind the forehead. They are the largest of the five lobes and are thought to be the centers that control personality and higher thought processes, including language and speech. Frontal lobe epilepsy causes a cluster of short seizures that start and stop suddenly. The symptoms depend upon the part of the frontal lobe affected.
Occipital Lobe Epilepsy
The occipital lobe lies at the back of the skull. Occipital lobe epilepsy is like frontal and temporal lobe epilepsies, except that the seizures usually begin with visual hallucinations, rapid blinking, and other symptoms related to the eyes.
Parietal Lobe Epilepsy
The parietal lobe lies between the frontal and temporal lobes. Parietal lobe epilepsy is similar to other types in part because parietal lobe seizures tend to spread to other areas of the brain.
People with absence epilepsy have repeated absence seizures. Absence epilepsy tends to run in families. The seizures frequently begin in childhood or adolescence. If the seizures begin in childhood, they usually stop at puberty. Although the seizures don't have a lasting effect on intelligence or other brain functions, children with absence epilepsy frequently have so many seizures that it interferes with school and other normal activities.