Simple Partial Seizures

In a simple partial seizure the seizure reflects the part of the brain where the seizure originates, such as only a finger or hand shaking or the uncontrollable jerking of the mouth. The person may be alert and wide awake and  knows something is wrong but can’t stop it. There is often an ‘aura’ or warning that the person feels just prior to the  seizure.  Stress may be the trigger that set the seizure in motion.

The person who has the seizure  may feel dizzy, speak nonsense and experience  unusual sights and sounds  odors, or tastes. Sometimes there are hallucinations  such as perceiving a mountain or a light.  Other times the person may hear buzzing and overcome with feelings of   anger or fear.

The Brain
The seizure begins in a specific part of the  brain where a signal originates and is sent to motor neurons in the spinal cord that fire muscle contractions in limbs.  Simple  partial seizures can be classified by the area of the brain where the seizure originates.



Temporal lobe simple seizures may include:

  • a rising feeling in the stomach (like the feeling you get on a fairground ride where you ‘leave your tummy at the top’).
  • deja vu (feeling like you’ve ‘been here before’) or jamais vu (where familiar things seem new
  • getting an unusual smell or taste
  • a sudden intense feeling of fear or joy.

Frontal lobe simple  seizures may include:

  • a strange feeling like a ‘wave’ going through the head
  • stiffness or twitching in part of the body (such as an arm or hand).


The above image is an MRI of a woman who suffers from a Frontal Lobe Seizure . The area marked in the MRI  is the  malformation in her brain in her frontal lobe. To learn more visit

Parietal lobe simple focal seizures may include:

  • a feeling of numbness or tingling
  • burning sensations or a feeling of heat
  • a sensation that an arm or leg feels bigger or smaller than it actually is.


The  area in yellow in the MRI image shows the onset of a seizure in  the parietal lobe of a patient. To learn more visit

Occipital lobe simple focal seizures may include:

  • visual disturbances such as colored or flashing lights
  • hallucinations (seeing something that isn’t actually there

To learn more about the Occipital Lobe of the brain visit  biology answers.


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