Temporal lobe epilepsy is a kind of partial seizure. The known causes for the disorder are meningitis and head injury. This type of seizure occurs in the deeper parts of the temporal lobe that handle emotions and memory aspects.
This kind of epilepsy is categorized as either simple or complex partial seizures. In simple partial seizures, the patient is aware of the self and the environment but experiences other symptoms involving, for example, the olfactory senses. On the other hand, patients with complex partial seizures become disabled. They become unaware of others and appear to be staring into space. Often, these patients are also seen performing repetitive movements such as licking lips, scratching and so on. They also tend to have sudden bouts of anger or agitation.
It is to be understood that experiences of temporal lobe seizures differ in intensity from person to person. Hence, explanation of the symptoms may not always be correct or possible. Patients run through a gamut of emotions and experiences lasting from a few seconds to a few minutes. These are called ‘auras’.
Magnetic resource imaging (MRI) is the most effective method for identifying lesions in the temporal lobe. It improves the success rate for surgeries to a great extent. EEG has not proved a useful technique to diagnose this type of epilepsy .
Temporal lobe epilepsy is treated with the anti-seizure drugs prescribed for other epilepsy types. These help in complete or near complete control of seizure attacks.
Surgery and Vagus Nerve Stimulation are also viable alternative epilepsy therapies.