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Epilepsy

Brief jerks and blankness

01/29/2009

Question:

i have left temporal lobe epilepsy with jerks (less than 2seconds) and sometime my mind totally blank as i forgot what i was talking about.i was taking valporic acid`s differnet doses for about 10 years now i have switched to lamictal.but still i am sometimes having sudden blankness in my mind (for a very minute period of time less than 1 sec)sometimes with brief jerks(less than 1sec and in anywhere is my body especially my hands) but sometimes alone.I observe that it happens mostly when i was tired,or when i was awaking for a long time.what might be this blankness means??,should i think that my current dose is not effecting well or anything else,.This condition is present with my all medication for epilepsy.what should i discuss with doctor please give me appropriate questions also.i am in my late 20`s and unmarried female

Answer:

The first question I would ask is if you really have temporal lobe epilepsy. There is another epilepsy called juvenile myoclonic epilepsy that is associated with jerks as staring spells and the treatment may be distinctly different. Since you are having ongoing spells, I would strongly consider asking about video/EEG monitoring. This test will confirm the type of seizures you have and then your physicians can choose the best treatment for you.

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Response by:

David M Ficker, MD David M Ficker, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati