The main symptom of the Temporal lobe epilepsy is brief loss of consciousness. Temporal lobe epilepsy is a disorder with loss of judgment, uncontrolled behavior, and abnormal acts. The person with this disorder may have loss of consciousness or loss of memory for the whole event. During the seizure the person may appear drowsy, violent or intoxicated. Normal activities, such as driving a car, typing, or eating, may go on normally. Crimes may be committed during the seizure. The person may hallucinate (see things that are not there), have a sense of unreality and distorted sense of time. Other symptoms may include chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid heart beat, and abnormal sensations of smell and taste. This disorder may be caused by an injury to the brain, such as a traumatic injury or infection. The cause of others is unknown. If some symptoms sound familiar to you, see your doctor.
The seizure could occur in the temporal lobe of the brain. The signs and symptoms of this type of complex - partial seizure vary from person to person. The person usually has an aura. The aura is a type of sensation that precedes the seizure and acts as a neurological warning. Hallucinations of voices, music, people, smells, or tastes may occur. This seizure may cause the person to stare, not respond to questions or give confused answers, move or walk around aimlessly, smack his lips, make chewing motions, fidget with clothing, or appear drunk or drugged. The person may struggle if someone tries to restrain his activity. They may last for just a few seconds, or may continue few minutes. A person may feel emotional or have unusual sensations. The person usually does not remember the seizure and may feel confused afterward. In some cases the seizures are so mild that the person barely notices. Sometimes these partial seizures can progress to generalized seizures that affect the whole brain.
Dostoyevsky, famous Russian novelist, who had epilepsy, described temporal lobe seizures in his novel The Idiot.
If you have seizures, your doctor will want to examine you and perform some diagnostic tests to discover the cause of your seizures. This will help determine what treatment and medication should be prescribed to prevent your seizures. A computed tomography (CT) scan can detect tumors, hematomas, aneurysms, lesions, and edema of the brain. Electroencephalography (EEG) evaluates the brain's electrical activity and can also help locate abscesses and tumors. Cerebral angiography can show the blood circulation in your brain and can detect any displacement of cerebral circulation or any hemorrhaging in the brain. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis can help detect multiple sclerosis, tumors, infection, or an obstruction around the subarachnoid space of the spinal cord.
You have to get enough energy. Energy and glucose levels are very important to the way your brain's neurons function. If you are on a diet or you skip meals, the neurons become unstable and begin to malfunction, causing a seizure. You should eat regular meals, and snack in between if you begin to feel shaky, faint, or hungry. The ketogenic diet can help in some cases. But, you should talk about that diet with your doctor.
The seizures of temporal lobe epilepsy can be completely or at least mostly controlled with the medications for partial seizures. It is most important that you follow your doctor's instructions exactly when you take your anti-seizure medication. Many seizure medicines can be used, either alone or in combination. Too much or too little of the drug can cause seizures. If you miss a dose, your doctor will tell you what to do. Make sure you don't take any over-the-counter medication without your doctor's approval.
Periodically your doctor will alter the dosage of your medicine if your blood levels have changed. Don't ever stop taking the medicine unless your doctor says to. Medication can help prevent seizures but can't cure the underlying cause. So even though you haven't had a seizure in years, it doesn't mean you are cured. You may need to continue the anti-seizure drug for the rest of your life.
Sometimes surgery becomes necessary if drug therapy fails to work or if surgery can correct or lessen the severity of the seizure disorder. The operation called a temporal lobectomy usually removes only the abnormal part of the temporal lobe. Temporal lobectomy in about 70% patients is successful, with low complication rates. Some doctors consider temporal lobectomy as an extreme procedure. Side effects of temporal lobectomy include: loss of memory, and emotional change, visual disturbances associated with the removal of brain tissue. Some side effects which occur after the surgery go away on their own. They include: scalp numbness, nausea, difficulty speaking, feeling tired or depressed, headaches, remembering or finding words and continued auras (feelings that signal the start of a seizure).
Careful patient selection and a battery of neurological tests that indicate where resection can be made are important for success of surgery. Before your surgery you will have some tests like electroencephalography (EEG), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). In some cases, a portion of the surgery is performed while the patient is awake, using medication to keep the person relaxed. If you have this surgery you will stay in hospital for 2 to 4 days. You will be able to return to their normal activities, in 6 to 8 weeks temporal lobectomy. You will have scar, but your hair will cover that. You should continue taking anti-seizure medication for two or more years after temporal lobectomy. When your seizures are under control your doctor will reduce or completely eliminate anti-seizure medications. Risks associated with temporal lobe surgery, include infection, bleeding and allergic reaction to anesthesia. Failure to relieve seizures, changes in personality or mental abilities and pain are possible complications.
Caffeine and alcohol can cause a seizure, as can fatigue and illness. Most of these things can be avoided if you find they trigger seizures. Some sights and sounds can trigger seizures, such as flashing video, television, or computer screens, and construction noises.
It is important that you always wear a Medic-Alert bracelet in case you have a seizure in public. If you feel a seizure coming on, lie down in the nearest safe place.
Support groups can help you cope with your feelings. These groups are made up of people who have temporal lobe epilepsy, who have experienced seizures and who want to share their experiences. Ask your doctor for the name and address of the local support group.