Ask an Educator: Different Seizure Presentations - Epilepsy Queensland

Ask an Educator

"What are some different types of seizure presentations?"
Brain Lobe Diagram

Did you know that there are over 70 different types of seizures? Seizures can have many different presentation depending on where the electrical activity originates in the brain.

Some seizures can be classed as ‘generalised’, which means they involve the entire brain, or they can be ‘focal’, meaning they involve one particular part or ‘lobe’ of the brain.

Focal seizures can vary greatly in how they appear, what they look or feel like, depending on which of the four lobes the electrical activity occurs. The type of symptoms someone experiences will correspond to what function that particular lobe has.

The following are some of the most common signs and symptoms that you may experience associated with each lobe of the brain:

Frontal Lobe

  • Head and eye movements towards one side of the body
  • Difficulties speaking
  • Abnormal posture e.g. a limb (leg/arm) extending and another flexing.
  • Repetitive movements (rocking, bicycle peddling or pelvic thrusting)
  • Complete or partial responsiveness

Temporal Lobe

  • Feelings of déjà vu: A feeling that what is happening has happened before.
  • A sudden change in taste or sensing of a strange odour.
  • A rising sensation in the abdomen like being in a roller coaster
  • Unexplained sense of fear or joy

Occipital Lobe

  • Visual illusions/hallucinations
  • Temporary decrease in visual acuity, sometimes blindness
  • Involuntary eye movements
  • Nausea
  • Eye pain
  • Double vision

Parietal Lobe

  • Numbness and tingling
  • Aphasia (difficulties speaking)
  • Difficulties understanding speech

Your neurologist will be able to determine what kind of seizures you are experiencing through different tests and also by reporting what kind of symptoms you are having. It is important that you take note of what happens during your seizures by keeping a diary and having someone take videos if possible. This will ensure you are providing as much information as possible to your doctor to find the most appropriate treatment.

Epilepsy Queensland