Temporal Lobe Seizure – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Methods

Temporal lobe seizure is the most frequent cause of partial seizures and aura. During a temporal lobe seizure, you may smack your lips, swallow repeatedly or pick at things with your fingers. Such activities are called automatisms. The temporal lobe is located close to the ear. Temporal lobe seizures can affect people of any age, and can occur as a single episode or can be repeated as part of a chronic (ongoing) condition. The seizures of temporal-lobe epilepsy often start in childhood. Temporal lobe epilepsy is difficult to diagnose because temporal lobe seizures may not show up on an EEG. Sometimes these seizures are caused by an abnormality in the temporal lobe, such as a tiny scar or tumor, but often no identifiable cause is found. A seizure is an episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain that can involve loss of consciousness or reduction of consciousness, involuntary movements, and overwhelming sensations. Certain patterns of electrical activity can cause seizures, which are episodes when electrical signals spread in abnormal patterns within the brain.

Temporal lobe seizures commonly result from damage to specific areas in the temporal lobe of the brain. This damage includes scarring, called mesial temporal sclerosis. The seizures associated with TLE consist of simple partial seizures without loss of awareness (with or without aura) and complex partial seizures (ie, with loss of awareness). For most people, the seizures of TLE can be completely or at least mostly controlled with the medications for partial seizures. Many seizure medicines can be used, either alone or in combination. Temporal-lobe epilepsy is usually classified as simple or complex partial seizures. Repeated TLE seizures can damage the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is important for memory and learning. Pregnancy, lack of sleep, skipping doses of medications, use of recreational drugs (including alcohol), or illness may cause seizures in a person with a previously well-controlled seizure disorder. Temporal lobe resection may be an option for people with epilepsy whose seizures are disabling and/or not controlled by medication, or when the side effects of medication are severe and significantly affect the person’s quality of life.

Causes of Temporal lobe seizure

The common causes and risk factor’s of Temporal lobe seizure include the following:

Temporal lobe seizures commonly result from damage to specific areas in the temporal lobe of the brain.

Past infections, e.g. herpes encephalitis or bacterial meningitis.

Certain patterns of electrical activity.

Causes can include traumatic injury, infection, brain tumors, genetic syndromes, and lesions of any sort.

Although a brain tumor is an uncommon cause, a seizure may be the first indication of a brain tumor.

Blood vessel disorders, such as arteriovenous malformation (AVM), can be a cause of seizures.

Symptoms of Temporal lobe seizure

Some symptoms of related to Temporal lobe seizure are as follows:

Abnormal sensations.

A sudden sense of unprovoked fear.

Hallucinations or illusions (vision, smells, tastes, or other sensory illusions).


Epigastric sensations (“a funny feeling in my gut,” “stomach rising”).

Forced turning of the eyes.

Abdominal pain or discomfort.

Changes in vision, speech, thought, awareness, personality.

Rapid heart rate/pulse.

Treatment of Temporal lobe seizure

Here is list of the methods for treating Temporal lobe seizure:

Standard medications to control temporal lobe seizures include phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine valproic acid (Depakene), phenobarbital, lamotrigine (Lamictal), topiramate (Topamax), tiagabine (Gabitril) and zonisamide (Zonegran).

Oral anticonvulsants (anti-seizure medications taken by mouth) are used to prevent or reduce the number of future seizures.

Multiple, repeated seizures are usually treated with long-term use of an antiepileptic drug.

For temporal lobe seizure disorders that don’t respond well to medications, surgery may be an option.

The operation (called a temporal lobectomy ) usually removes only the abnormal part of the temporal lobe, not the entire lobe. Many also benefit from vagus nerve stimulation or the ketogenic diet.

Use of informational jewelry or cards (such as Medic-Alert or similar) that indicate a seizure disorder may be advised. These accessories may help in obtaining quick medical treatment if a seizure happens.