Temporal lobe epilepsy is a type of epilepsy originating from the temporal lobe. Epilepsy is a condition that results in recurrent seizures, but what you may not have known is that they can originate in different parts of the brain. The brain is composed of different lobes. Each lobe is responsible for different functions that control the body. Something that happens on the left side of the brain causes different problems than if it happens on the right side of the brain. They say the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, and the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body. Just knowing the origination of seizures can help doctors find a cure.
The brain has four total lobes:
- Parietal Lobe
- Temporal Lobe
- Frontal Lobe
- Occipital Lobe
The parietal lobes are responsible for the sensory information like pain and touch. Temporal lobes are important for hearing. The frontal lobe is responsible for reason cognition, and motor skills. It also helps with our reasoning. The occipital lobe is in the back of the head, but it controls vision. It is the occipital lobe that allows us to interpret what we see and identify colors and things. Damage to any of these lobes can have a major impact on how we function. There are two temporal lobes and two parietal lobes. They lie on each side of the brain. Problems that occur on the left side can cause different symptoms than problems that occur on the right side.
If you have one seizure, you are not considered to be epileptic. Epilepsy is recurrent and tends to happen a lot. Epilepsy is abnormal nerve activity in the brain. It affects people of all ages and can be very serious. Many people only characterize a seizure as abnormal shaking. That is just one type of seizure. There are many different types of seizures. Each type of seizure has different symptoms. Some seizures do not cause any shaking at all. Instead, a person stares off into space and has no idea what is going on. Seizures begin in different parts of the brain. The temporal lobe is just one.
Causes of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
An injury to the brain is one cause of temporal lobe epilepsy. It is not always a genetic problem. If you have trauma to the temporal lobe of the head, the damage may cause the signals to the nerves to become disrupted. The aftermath will then lead to seizures. Infections may also cause temporal lobe seizures which can lead to epilepsy. Hormone changes during puberty may trigger seizures. Genes are a common cause. If epilepsy runs in the family, you are at a higher risk for the same symptoms.
Types of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
There are two types of temporal lobe epilepsy. The first type is called medial temporal lobe epilepsy. The second type is called neocortical temporal lobe epilepsy. Medial temporal lobe epilepsy is a common form that affects the internal structures of the temporal lobe, making it very difficult to treat. A lot of epileptic causes cannot be seen through diagnostic tests, but medial temporal lobe epilepsy can. In an MRI scan, the doctor notices hardening of the hippocampus in the brain. Neocortical temporal lobe epilepsy affects the outside of the temporal lobe but is not as common.
Temporal lobe epilepsy causes the usual shaking. It cannot be controlled and can happen at random times. The biggest problem with temporal lobe epilepsy is that it is difficult to manage. As it continues, you start to develop symptoms that create changes in your mood and memory. It becomes hard for you to remember things and mood swings are uncontrollable. Your quality of life diminishes greatly. Your risk of death also increases. The loss of consciousness makes it dangerous for you to drive and can cause head trauma if you fall.
Medicine is usually the first step of treatment. If you have been diagnosed with temporal lobe seizures, it may be difficult for the doctor to know whether or not medicine will help. Seizure medication is the first step. If that does not work, surgery may be a better method of treatment. During surgery, the hardening in the hippocampus is fixed, especially if the problem is related to medial temporal lobe epilepsy. Surgery does not fix all problems. Neurostimulation is also effective. These devices are used to normalize the signals going to the nerves.
Epilepsy is a problem that many people struggle with. Temporal lobe epilepsy can be difficult to treat and in some cases cannot be treated at all. If you suffer from epilepsy, the first step in treatment is knowing which part of the brain the seizure is originating from. If you are suffering from temporal lobe epilepsy, find a neurosurgeon that can provide you with the best treatment options and help improve your quality of life.
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