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Temporal lobe seizure - (TLE) - Seizure - temporal lobe
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Temporal lobe seizure - (TLE) - Seizure - temporal lobe

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Having recurrent seizures may put you and others at risk of physical harm. A seizure that produces either loss of awareness or control can be dangerous if you're driving a car, swimming, working at heights or operating equipment. Many states have licensing restrictions related to your ability to control seizures. For children, seizure disorders may result in limitations on the physical activities in which they can participate in school. In addition, for both children and adults, seizures can produce injuries associated with falling.


A variety of treatments may help control temporal lobe seizures, including:

  • Medications. Many medications can effectively reduce or eliminate the number of seizures for some people. Finding the right medication and dosage can be complex. Standard medications to control temporal lobe seizures include phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), valproic acid (Depakene), divalproex (Depakote), gabapentin (Neurontin), phenobarbital (Barbita, Luminal), ethosuximide (Zarontin), clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium), primidone (Mysoline), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), lamotrigine (Lamictal), topiramate (Topamax), felbamate (Felbatol) and tiagabine (Gabitril). You may require long-term use of medications to minimize seizures. Even then, medication may not completely control seizures. Complex partial seizures are harder to control with medication than are other seizures. Most people with complex partial seizures need to continue taking medications for life.

  • Seizure medications are associated with birth defects. However, if you're pregnant, continued seizures can be harmful to you and your baby. If you have epilepsy and you're considering becoming pregnant, talk to your doctor.

  • Surgery. For temporal lobe seizure disorders that don't respond well to medications, surgery may be an option. You'll need an evaluation at a comprehensive epilepsy center to see if you're a good candidate for surgery. The evaluation typically involves identifying the site where your seizures originate — this is achieved through magnetic resonance imaging scans of your brain — and hospitalization to record your seizures on videotape and with electroencephalography.

  • Vagus nerve stimulation. Your doctor may suggest a device called a vagus nerve stimulator if medications are ineffective or cause serious side effects and surgery isn't an option. The stimulator is implanted into your chest under the collarbone. Wires from the stimulator are wrapped around the vagus nerve in your neck. The vagus nerve connects the lower part of your brain to your heart, lungs and gastrointestinal tract. The device turns on and off according to an adjustable program. It's not clear how brain stimulation via the vagus nerve inhibits seizures. About one-third of people with complex partial seizures may benefit from vagus nerve stimulation.


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