Complex partial seizures are particularly common in older people with epilepsy, but they occur at any age. In rare cases they may become very agitated, make flailing movements with their arms, try to undress, try to run, scream, or cower in fear.Although it's always possible for seizures to change, people usually develop a pattern of things they do and these are likely to occur in the same order each time.It’s one of those things that’s hard to explain unless you’ve seen VSee in action.
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The kind of seizure an older person may have depends on where the electrical disturbance takes place and how much of the brain is affected.
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Episodes of this kind are caused by electrical disturbances in the part of the brain that controls senses such as sight (causing visual disturbances), or hearing (producing the illusion of voices or sounds) or even memory (creating perhaps an image of the past or blocking recognition of familiar places).
However, elderly people may not talk about these episodes, even to their doctors, because they're afraid they're losing their minds. These are seizures, not symptoms of mental illness.These may produce convulsions (tonic clonic or grand mal seizures); sudden falls (atonic seizures); massive muscle jerks (myoclonic seizures); or momentary blackouts (absence seizures). Breathing may be very shallow and even stop for a few moments.Tonic clonic seizures, which many people call convulsions, are the ones most people think of when they hear the word "epilepsy." Tonic clonic seizures often start with a cry, caused by air being suddenly forced out of the lungs. Sometimes the skin turns a bluish color because breathing may be briefly interrupted and the blood doesn't get as much oxygen as usual.A senior citizen with complex partial seizures may stare, make chewing movements with the mouth, pick at clothing, mumble, do the same actions over and over again.He or she won't be able to talk to other people while the seizure is going on, but may respond to simple requests made in a calm, friendly voice.They affect consciousness while they're happening and people can't remember them afterwards.