Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Temporal lobe epilepsy is a predisposition to seizures that originate in the temporal lobe.  The temporal lobe is involved in the functions of memory, emotions, and smell sensation.

Often, a temporal lobe seizure has a warning symptom, or aura.  This may be the sense of an abnormal smell, sense of fear or memory recall (deja vu).  Patients may have episodes of staring, twitching or fumbling of the fingers.  These are complex-partial seizures.  A tonic-clonic seizure may also occur, with or without an aura.

Temporal lobe epilepsy may be associated with a normal EEG.  Hippocampal sclerosis may be found on MRI of the brain.   Sometimes, EEG and MRI results are normal in this condition.

Temporal lobe epilepsy may respond to a variety of medications, or it may be resistant to medical treatment.  Sometimes patients with this condition respond to epilepsy surgery.