Recurrent seizures originating from the frontal lobe of the brain lead to frontal lobe epilepsy. Proper medical attention should be given to the individual who is afflicted by such seizures.
The frontal lobes are the control center of emotions. They play a role in activities like memory management and motor functions. Seizures are generally focal in nature. Frontal lobe seizures can be differentiated as simple partial seizures and complex partial seizures. In simple partial seizures, the memory of the patient is not affected. Whereas, the memory might take a blow in complex partial seizures. Medical practitioners may misdiagnose the frontal lobe seizures as sleep a disorder or a psychiatric disorder, due to the unusual symptoms produced by them.
Frontal lobe seizures do not last as long as the temporal lobe seizures. The frontal lobe encompasses a wide range of functions. In addition to that, there are many parts in the frontal lobe whose functions are not yet explored. This leads to the misdiagnosis of these seizures.
- Frontal lobe seizures last for less than a minute.
- They often occur during sleep.
- The person may become unresponsive during such seizures.
- The person may have difficult in speaking.
- Seizure can cause the person to display movements such as bicycling motions and pelvic thrusts.
- The seizure can be dacrystic, in which the person cries. Whereas, in gelastic seizures, the person laughs.
- Screaming can also be observed.
- Abnormality in body posturing can be seen, along with movements of the head and eyes to one side.
- If the seizure originates in a part of the frontal lobe which affects motor functions, this may lead to the inability to move certain muscles.
- Even if the person is aware that he is experiencing a frontal lobe seizure, he can not control his body movements.
In several cases, the cause of the frontal lobe seizure is not known. A person may inherit the gene causing such seizures from their parents. This leads to Autosomal Dominant Nocturnal Frontal Lobe Epilepsy (ADNFLE). The seizures may also be caused by a traumatic injury to the lobe, vascular malformations or tumors.
While consulting the doctor, the individual should be accompanied by someone who has witnessed his seizures. Detailed description of the experience of the seizure should be given to the doctor. The doctor may recommend various tests. Generally, the person must undergo an Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan or Computed Tomography (CT) scan, or both if necessary, and he may also be subjected to an Electroencephalogram (EEG).
By recording an EEG during a seizure, the exact focal point of the seizure can be identified. The reports of the scan need proper examination to avoid misdiagnosis. These seizures can be treated with medication. If the problem still persists, then a surgery for the removal of the focal point of the seizure can be done, in selected cases. In case of failed surgery or medication, one can opt for Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VGS). In VGS, the vagus nerve is utilized to send specific signals to the brain. There are no major risks involved in VGS.
Status Epilepticus is a dangerous condition which may arise due to persistent seizures. It is a medical emergency, if seizures last more than 5 minutes. A person may injure himself during such seizures, due to the wild body movements. A postical state may follow a seizure. It means that the person is in a state of confusion for sometime. Consult a doctor if you feel that you have the symptoms of frontal lobe seizures. Call 911 in case of a medical emergency.