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What is the difference between ABSENCE (petit-mal) and COMPLEX-PARTIALS?

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Old 01-29-2003, 11:53 AM   #1
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Kaitie HB User
Post What is the difference between ABSENCE (petit-mal) and COMPLEX-PARTIALS?

Hi again...
(Still has confused and as concerned as ever). My Doctor says he thinks I've been having petit-mal seizures (or absence seizures)...and we're doing all the research - ie. eeg, neuro appointments ect...but now I'm all confused because sometimes people refer to absence and complex partials as the same, and I'm not sure that they are - infact they sound different (but also the same if you know what I mean....)

Can anyone help me out? If you have complex partials -what is it like - at least then I have some sort of comparison...

Sorry if I'm being a pest but I'm young - scared and in desperate need of some concrete answers!


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elleihn07 (10-22-2011)
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Old 01-29-2003, 01:22 PM   #2
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shirlygirly HB User

hi katie,
i started having seizures at the age of 11 and was not diagnosed till i was 12! lovely eh!
what was then known as grand mal, but now related as complex partial, which is the kind of epilepsy i have,
i never really understand either even after 22 years of it.
I used to have abscences from time to time without seizure, and had abscences before a seizure takes place. Speak to your doc, or neuro whoever you are under, tell them how you feel, and i mean ask....say you want some answers, as this is all confusing, i still ask questions at my 6 monthly check-ups. But after having a seizure last may i decided i wanted 3 monthly check-ups instead, and have been doing great, since i was put on new meds. Everyone wants answers, i know we don't always get them, but try try try....SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS IF YOU HAVE TO!
i still have my down days.
gl and tc

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Old 01-31-2003, 04:40 AM   #3
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satman HB User

[This message has been edited by satman (edited 02-16-2003).]

Old 02-04-2003, 12:32 PM   #4
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kayakmom HB User

They are not the same nor are COmplex partials formerly called Grand Mal.

COmplex partial seizures are in only PART of the brain, hence the name! They may sometimes SECONDARILY GENERALIZE into a Tonic Clonic seizure though(TOnic clonic is the present term for Grand Mal. ) Complex partials you have impaired consciousness, so you do not know or remember what goes on, though I know a few who do recall things. YOu can keep doing what you were doing mechanically. There is sometimes hand twitching or jerking. SOme times extreme fear is involved and people with these will run in panic. SOme have mouth smacking, lip smacking, during them as well. Can be very tired, angry or confused after the event.

Absence seizures are in the whole brain so they are GENERALIZED. The person will stare off into space and not be able to respond or do anything during the event. THese usually last a matter of a few seconds. They will often return to what they were doing once the seizure ends and may not need any recovery time.
mom of 2 teens who have battled seiuzres.

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