How are simple and complex focal seizures differentiated?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: David Y Ko, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

The defining element of simple focal seizures is a seizure with preserved consciousness. A complex partial seizure is defined as one in which there is some alteration or impairment of consciousness. Many patients with complex focal seizures have an aura warning them of their seizure; the aura itself is a simple focal seizure. The many kinds of simple focal seizures include sensory, motor, autonomic, and psychic types. Any discrete experience that involves the cerebral cortex could be a simple focal-onset seizure.


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