Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects the nervous system. There are many different types of epilepsy. Each epileptic syndrome is characterized by a specific set of symptoms. Epilepsy is known to be hereditary in some cases. Epilepsy is classified by symptoms or by the position in the brain where the symptoms originate. Some common types of epilepsy are absence epilepsy, psychomotor epilepsy, temporal lobe epilepsy, frontal lobe epilepsy, occipital lobe epilepsy and parietal lobe epilepsy. There are many other types of epilepsy, each with its own characteristic set of symptoms.
People suffering from absence epilepsy have repeated absence seizures that result in momentary lapses of consciousness. These seizures almost always begin in childhood or adolescence. This form of epilepsy tends to run in families, which suggests that it may be partially due to a defective gene or genes.
Psychomotor epilepsy is another term for recurrent partial seizures, especially seizures of the temporal lobe. The term psychomotor refers to the strange sensations, emotions and behavior seen with these seizures.
Temporal lobe epilepsy, or TLE, is a common epilepsy syndrome with partial seizures. TLE often begin in childhood. Research has shown that repeated TLE could cause certain brain structures to shrink over time. While it may take years of temporal lobe seizures for any significant brain damage to occasion, it needs to be treated early and as effectively as possible.
Frontal lobe epilepsy usually involves a cluster of short seizures with a sudden sunset and termination. The symptoms depend on where in the frontal lobe the seizures occurrence. Many subtypes of frontal lobe seizures are known.
Occipital lobe epilepsy usually causes visual hallucinations, rapid eye blinking or other eye-related problems. The other symptoms resemble those in the case of temporal or frontal lobe epilepsy.
Several types of epilepsy begin in infancy. The most common type of epilepsy seen in infections is infantile spasms. Some Infants suffer from seizures from as early as 6 months. During these seizures the infant may bend and cry out. Anticonvulsant drugs often do not work for infantile spasms, but the seizures can be treated with ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) or prednisone.
People should discuss the implications of their type of epilepsy with their doctors to understand the full range of symptoms, possible treatments and the prognosis.