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Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Temporal lobe epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition, the main symptoms of which are recurrent, unprovoked seizures. These seizures originate in the temporal lobe of the brain, hence the name. The most common cause of temporal lobe epilepsy is mesial temporal sclerosis, a pattern of cell loss in the hippocampus.

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of partial seizure epilepsy. Simple partial seizures, which involve small areas of the brain, do not result in altered consciousness, generally only causing abnormal sensations, such as déjà vu or temporary amnesia. These are also known as auras. Complex partial seizures are those that impair consciousness to some degree. These usually begin as a simple partial seizure before spreading to other areas of the brain.

Cause of temporal lobe epilepsy include, as mentioned, mesial temporal sclerosis, but may also include traumatic brain injuries, brain infections such as encephalitis or meningitis, or stroke. Treatment generally consists of oral medications, such as anticonvulsants. However, since TLE seizures are not convulsions, medical professionals prefer the modern term antiepileptic drugs. New drugs include gabapentin, topiramate and zonisamide. As many as one third of TLE patients who have childhood onset of the disease will “outgrow” the disease, with remission lasting as long as 20 years.

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