Complex partial seizures

Complex partial seizures occur in children and adults with certain forms of epilepsy. They are the most common type of seizure in adults.

An aura may occur at the beginning of a seizure. It may consist of a strange smell, taste, sound or visual disturbance, an unexplained feeling of fear or anxiety, or a sense that everything seems strangely familiar, like it has all happened before (déjà vu) or strangely unfamiliar (jamais vu).

The seizure changes the person's level of consciousness. The person may appear awake but cannot respond to anything or anyone around him or her. The person usually stares into space.

The seizure may include involuntary movements called automatisms, such as lip-smacking, chewing, hand wringing, picking and swallowing.

The seizure lasts 30 seconds to two minutes.