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Lobes of the Brain

The Frontal lobe

Because the frontal lobe of the brain deals primarily with movement, the symptoms are sometimes called ‘motor seizures’. The person may feel their head drawn to one side. Sometimes their arm or hand becomes stiff and is drawn upwards. Some people then experience some jerking movements in that limb.

Because this lobe also controls part of our speech, some people experience ‘speech arrest’, resulting in an inability to talk or not being able to be understood. After this type of seizure, which again is usually only brief, the person can experience a short period of weakness. In rare instances people can be briefly paralysed and this is known as ‘Todd’s paralysis’.

The Occipital lobe

This area is responsible for vision.  The symptoms of seizures in this area are to do with the way we see things. Flashing lights, balls of light or strange colours are typical symptoms, affecting half of the vision.

The Parietal lobe

The parietal lobe deals with our bodily sensations and simple partial seizures beginning in this part of the brain cause strange physical sensations. A tingling or warmth down one side of the body is typical. Because the parietal lobe is closely associated with the frontal lobe, people sometimes experience movement too. Known as ‘sensory seizures’ the after effect can be a period of numbness which wears off after a while.

The Temporal Lobe

The temporal lobe is involved in memory, speech, auditory and visual perception.

Typical symptoms of epileptic activity in the temporal lobe area are flushing or sweating, going very pale, or a churning feeling in the stomach. People’s perceptions can be changed: some think things are bigger or smaller than they really are or experience hallucinations.

Other symptoms can be intense feelings of fear, panic, sadness or happiness, or feeling detached from one’s environment.  A common symptom is the experience we all know as déja vu, when we are convinced we have been somewhere or witnessed something before. Conversely, some people find very familiar things become unrecognisable – jamais vu.