Frontal lobe seizures
Frontal lobe seizure is a neurological disorder that produces abnormal signals from the frontal lobe of the brain. The frontal lobe performs and controls activities such as anxiety, movement, problem-solving, alertness, memory, personality and social interaction.
Any abnormality or defect in the frontal lobe of the brain may produce abnormal signal producing seizures from the frontal lobe. These seizures predominantly occur during sleep that last for less than 30 seconds.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of frontal lobe seizures include:
- Head and eye movements towards one side
- Difficulty in speaking
- Loud screams including profanities
- Loud laughter
- Repetitive hand and leg movements
- Complex reflex movements
Frontal lobe seizures usually produce psychiatric like disorders such as bicycling pedalling movements, laugh and screams during sleep. These symptoms make it difficult to diagnose the condition, as it mimics psychiatric disorders.
Frontal lobe seizures may occur due to the following conditions:
- Viral infection of the frontal lobe
- Trauma or brain injury
- Genetic changes
- Inherited gene
- Fever spikes
The frontal lobe seizures may include major complications as it controls the major functions of the brain. The complications of frontal lobe seizures include:
- Fever and shivering
- Increased palpitations
- Pallor (unhealthy pale appearance)
Thus, timely diagnosis and treatment of frontal lobe seizures help in minimizing the complications of frontal lobe seizures.
The diagnosis of frontal lobe seizures includes physical findings and laboratory testing. It is essential to diagnose the physical findings of the individual as frontal lobe seizures usually affect the motor and coordination movements such as muscle strength, sensory skills, vision, hearing and speech and coordination and balance.
Apart from these physical findings, laboratory testing helps in finding the underlying cause of the seizures. The tests performed to detect frontal lobe seizures include:
Electroencephalogram (EEG): The test is performed to monitor the brain’s electrical activity by placing small discs with thin wires over the scalp. The nerve impulses produced are then recorded on the electroencephalograph that helps in the diagnosis of the cause of seizures.
Brain scan: Image scans such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and computed tomography (CT) scan is performed to detect the presence of underlying factors such as a tumour, injury, blood clot, brain tissue necrosis and so on.
Video EEG: The test is performed during sleep to monitor the brain’s impulses through electroencephalogram and a video recorder. The simultaneous examination of EEG recordings and the body movements through the video recorder helps in diagnosing the exact cause of the seizures. This test is of great significance as frontal lobe seizures usually occur during sleep.
Depending on the severity of the condition, frontal lobe seizures are treated either with medicines or surgery. However, surgery is performed when anti-seizure medicines are not effective in treating frontal lobe seizures.
The doctor prescribes an anti-seizure drug that helps in the treatment of seizures. These medicines are usually administered in combination with other drugs to control and prevent further occurrence of seizures. The doctor may also prescribe maintenance dose of anti-seizure medicines at the end of the treatment to prevent the recurrence of seizures.
However, it is advised to consult the doctor if the seizures do not subside even after the regular use of the medicine.
Surgery is a choice of treatment when frontal lobe seizures do not reduce with medication therapy. The surgery involves pinpointing the exact area of the brain that produces seizures. The frontal lobe seizures surgical procedures include:
- Stimulation of the vagus nerve: This procedure involves deep brain stimulation, by implantation of a probe to stimulate the vagus nerve. The probe is then connected to an implanting device through a thin wire that is attached to the chest. Thus, it helps in controlling the nerve impulses produced in the frontal lobe.
- Removing the focal point: This procedure involves removal of tissue or a small portion of the brain that produce seizures. This surgery is only performed when seizures are reported to be produced from a fixed region of the brain.
- Isolation of the focal point: This procedure involves making a series of cuts over the brain to prevent the spread of tremors. This surgery is performed when the affected tissue is of major importance.
The other treatment modalities of frontal lobe seizures include:
- Herbal medicines
However, alternative medicine is not a suitable choice of treatment of frontal lobe seizures as it lacks research and evidence for the cure of the seizures.
Management and Coping
On recovery from frontal lobe seizures, it is essential to follow regular maintenance dose of the medicine to prevent recurrence of the seizures. It is also advised to follow low carbohydrate diet, as research shows low-carb diet is effective in preventing the risk of frontal lobe seizures in children.
Limiting the use of alcohol and smoking of cigarette has proved to be effective in the management of seizures. It is also advised to follow stress-busting therapies to manage emotional outburst caused due to frontal lobe seizures.