What is a complex partial seizure?

Complex partial seizures are a type of seizure typically associated with temporal lobe activity and result in loss of consciousness. Complex partial seizures are commonly preceded by an aura (perception such as a smell, taste, visual stimuli or other sensation that is not actually present). 

Complex partial seizures commonly occur in the temporal lobe of the brain, the area of the brain that controls emotion and memory function. This seizure usually lasts between one and two minutes. Consciousness is usually lost during these seizures and a variety of behaviors can occur. These behaviors may include gagging, lip smacking, running, screaming, crying and/or laughing. When the person regains consciousness, he/she may complain of being tired or sleepy after the seizure. This is called the postictal period.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.