Complex partial are part of a group seizures known as focal. All the seizures within this group originate from a limited area within the brain. The four lobes of the brain; occipital, parietal, temporal and frontal are responsible for various feelings, actions, movements etc.; therefore, seizures of this variety will have different symptoms dependent on where the abnormal activity is occurring.
The complex partial tend to be accompanied by an initial aura to begin with. The duration of the seizure can last anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
The individual is unaware of what is happening. They may appear functional to others, but they will be unable to respond to anything around them. There are also what is known as automatisms which take place. This is a ‘purposeless action’ which can include: lip smacking, chewing, fumbling, hand wringing, picking at clothes, walking and for some there may be inappropriate behaviour.
Afterwards the person may be confused and disorientated and it may take a fair period of time to recover from the seizure.
These are often confused with absences and are generally difficult to identify if you are not familiar with epilepsy and seizures. On many occasions, these have been mistaken for drunkeness creating issues with arrests and the Police. This is another great reason as to why we need to raise awareness so people who experience seizures aren’t subject to this type of treatment which is simply due to a lack of knowledge and education.