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Complex Partial Seizures

May start with simple partial seizures or with impaired consciousness. Automatisms may develop.

Partial Seizures That Become Generalized

The seizure may or may not start with the autonomic or psychic symptoms that are outlined above. Consciousness is impaired and the person appears confused. Automatisms include automatic motor behaviors such as chewing, smacking the lips, walking about, and unbuttoning clothes; also more complicated and skilled behaviors such as driving a car.

Partial seizures that become generalized resemble tonic-clonic seizures (see next page). Unfortunately, the patient may not recall the focal onset and observers may overlook it.

The patient may remember initial autonomic or psychic symptoms (which are then termed an aura), but is amnesic for the rest of the seizure. Temporary confusion and headache may occur.

As in a tonic-clonic seizure, described on the next page. Two attributes indicate a partial seizure that has become generalized: (1) the recollection ofan aura, and (2) a unilateral neurologic deficit during the postictal period.

TABLE 16-7 ■ Seizure Disorders (Continued)

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