A 63-year-old woman and her husband present to the physician’s office due to a concern about behavioral changes over the past 4 weeks. The patient’s husband states that she has been having episodes where she will have a blank stare for 5 minutes and pick at her shirt. Afterwards she appears confused for up to an hour and does not remember the episode. The woman adds that she often experiences an unpleasant smell before an episode.>
Which of the following is the most likely location of abnormal electrical activity causing this patient’s symptoms?
- A) Frontal lobe
- B) Occipital lobe
- C) Parietal lobe
- D) Temporal lobe
- E) Thalamus
D) Temporal lobe
Focal seizures can be simple or complex. Simple focal seizures occur when the patient is aware throughout the seizure. Focal seizures typically arise from the medial temporal lobe. Patients may experience motor, sensory, and autonomic symptoms. This includes vocalization, muscle movement, parasthesias, olfactory or auditory sensations, and hallucinations.
Key Learning Point
Focal seizures typically arise from the medial temporal lobe. Patients may experience automatisms or sensory changes. Simple focal seizures occur when the patient is aware of the seizure.