What is a Jacksonian Seizure?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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A Jacksonian seizure, which is also called a focal seizure, is a kind of brain disturbance. These seizures involve electrical impulses that strike a particular part of the brain and generate uncontrollable actions. Jacksonian seizure symptoms can vary significantly depending on which part of the brain is affected. Most symptoms are uncontrolled muscle spasms, but there are also Jacksonian seizures which are more mental in nature and may change a person’s behavior or emotional state. Another type may actually affect the internal organs and cause symptoms that make the individual think he’s having some kind of serious problem like a heart attack.

A typical Jacksonian seizure may involve random muscle spasms. For example, an individual might start opening and closing his mouth repeatedly without being able to stop, or he may find that his hand muscles are tightening without his control. These symptoms are usually very temporary, and they will disappear after a short time.


Sometimes the symptoms can be a little less obvious, and they may not have any similarity to what most people associate with a seizure. For example, the patient may suddenly be overcome with depression or happiness because a part of his brain is being stimulated that causes those emotions. Other patients may suddenly get strange feelings from inside their bodies that make them nauseous, or they may get dizzy because their heart is pumping blood more rapidly than usual. In addition, there are some patients that may have strange sensations on their bodies or temporarily lose feeling in certain areas.

There are many possible causes for Jacksonian seizure, but the most common cause is generally some kind of epilepsy. Another cause is brain trauma. Sometimes, brain trauma can happen as a result of an injury, but it can also happen because of oxygen deprivation or an internal event like a stroke. Determining what the cause is can potentially be helpful to doctors when trying to treat Jacksonian seizure, because the treatment options can vary significantly depending on the source of the problem.

Many patients are treated with basic seizure medications. When this doesn’t work, doctors may be forced to try surgical methods. This can involve removal of parts of a person’s brain, so it’s usually only used in cases where the patient’s life quality is greatly affected. For many patients, the best treatment can involve lifestyle changes that may lessen the number of seizures they experience. These can include dietary changes along with giving up certain habits like smoking and drinking.


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