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Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: can my simple partial seizures become worse?


 beachgirlheart - Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:00 pm

I was diagnosed with epilepsy about 6 years ago. Of all the reading I have done, I would say I suffer from simple partial seizures. I had one grand mal (that is how I became diagnosed) 6 years ago. I had bug bombed my house and believe I inhaled too much chemical. I had the seizure in my sleep.

Prior to this my doctor had diagnosed my seizures as "panic attacks". I never bought that. Since then I have these simple partial seizures about every 3 months. They can last 2-4 days with about 3-4 seizures a day (more when I am sleeping).

My question is can these develop into peti or grand mal?

Thank you
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:13 pm

User avatar Hi there -- Over the years there has always been some confusion about and overlap of simple partial seizures and panic attacks, so don't take that personally. Panic attacks actually are a seizure-like activity that springs well beyond simple anxiety, although they may be triggered by it.

On occasion simple partial seizures can evolve into more complex ones, although rarely grand mal. Petit mal seizures, as you probably know, are very different, and again are sometimes confused with panic disorder, even though they generally pass without the patient even knowing they've taken place. My only reservation with you and the potential for evolving toward more complex types of seizures is the history of having already once suffered one possible grand mal event. It was a long time ago, so may have just been a herald event or may have been completely attributable to the insecticide spray (or some component of it). Since it took place in your sleep it's really impossible to have any sort of concrete record of it.

Have you now had a complete neurological workup including electroencephalogram (EEG) and other electronic tests? If not you probably should, since otherwise the differential diagnosis between epilepsy or at least simple partial seizures and panic disorder can remain blurred. In fact one of the more popular medications for managing panic disorder is one of several anti-seizure meds.

While the odds of you having a grand mal or other more complex seizure are low, it remains a possibility. If you haven't had the whole nine yards in terms of neurological testing you may be worrying needlessly or you may be missing a chance to avoid a future seizure. If the diagnosis is concrete, again, the odds are rather low but it is impossible to rule out or predict future complex seizures.

Hope this is helpful. Good luck to you.

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