Refractory Partial Seizures

What are Refractory Partial Seizures?

Refractory partial seizures are seizures that do not respond to the currently available antiepileptic medications and cause significant disruption to regular functioning and daily living.

Partial seizures are the most common form of seizures, and are type of seizure which occurs in one side or a limited part of the brain. Refractory seizures, also known as intractable seizures, happen when the seizures are frequent and prolonged, and can cause significant impairment to the sufferer’s life.

Symptoms of Refractory Partial Seizures

Symptoms of refractory partial seizures may include:

  • Uncontrolled jerking or twitching of the body or limbs
  • Sudden lapses in consciousness
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of speech
  • Loss of balance

Diagnosing Refractory Partial Seizures

Refractory partial seizures can be difficult to diagnose since its symptoms are similar to other types of seizures and medical conditions. A doctor may recommend tests such as laboratory analysis, imaging scans (e.g. EEG, CT scan, MRI scan), and gene studies to diagnose the condition.

Treatment for Refractory Partial Seizures

The main treatment for refractory seizures is antiepileptic medications. If medications do not work, surgery may be performed. Surgery is done to remove parts of the brain that are causing seizures. Other treatment options include special diets, such as the ketogenic diet, laser surgery, electrical stimulation, and vagal nerve stimulation.

Outlook for People with Refractory Partial Seizures

With proper treatment and medical care, people with refractory partial seizures can lead normal lives. It is important for people with seizures to work closely with a doctor and develop an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to their needs and lifestyle.