What is Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE)
Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is a form of epilepsy that originates in the temporal lobes of the brain. The temporal lobes are responsible for various functions, including memory, emotions, language, and sensory perception. When seizures occur in these lobes, it results in temporal lobe epilepsy.
In 2009, a neurologist reported seeing “significant concerning epileptiform activity” on a sleep-deprived EEG. She set up a 24-hour EEG where the events were scrutinized and none occurred. The case was closed. It seemed concerning. We chose to complete further EEG and QEEG testing over the course of the next 5-6 years and each tracing returned with activity (spike and slow waves). This is of no concern to any practitioner, neurologist or psychiatrist we have seen. Lamictal was added as a mood stabilizer (started at 25 mg) but soon a rash crept up his legs and the medication was discontinued for something not seizure-related but mood-stabilizing only. I can’t help thinking with GLUT1, sudden mood changes, and remittance of symptoms on ketogenic diets, this may be where some of our challenges stem from. But with everything else in the mix, it seems to complicated of an ask to force someone to pay attention to this piece. We are all exhausted.
Symptoms of TLE (Temporal Lobe Epilepsy)
- Simple partial seizures: These seizures typically involve a change in perception or sensation without loss of consciousness. They may cause unusual tastes or smells, déjà vu or jamais vu (feeling like something is familiar or unfamiliar), abnormal feelings or sensations in the stomach, or sudden intense emotions.
- Complex partial seizures: These seizures are characterized by a change in consciousness or awareness. The person may exhibit repetitive movements, such as lip smacking or fidgeting, and may appear dazed or confused. They may also engage in automatic behaviors, such as wandering or performing purposeless actions. This is considered part of our diagnosis spectrum.
- Loss of awareness or consciousness: Some individuals with temporal lobe epilepsy experience seizures that cause a loss of consciousness, leading to a blank stare or unresponsiveness. These seizures may be accompanied by subtle movements, such as chewing or swallowing repeatedly.
- Memory problems: TLE can affect memory function, particularly the ability to form new memories or recall past events. Some individuals may have memory gaps or experience temporary memory loss during or after seizures.
- Emotional and mood changes: TLE can cause emotional disturbances, including sudden and intense emotions such as fear, anxiety, or aggression. Individuals may also experience mood swings, irritability, or depression.
- Sensory disturbances: Seizures originating in the temporal lobes can affect sensory perception. Some people may experience visual disturbances, such as seeing flashing lights or hallucinations, or auditory disturbances, such as hearing sounds that are not present.
It is important to note that the symptoms of temporal lobe epilepsy can be mistaken for other conditions, and a proper diagnosis should be made by a healthcare professional specializing in epilepsy. Treatment options for TLE may include medications, lifestyle modifications, and in some cases, surgery to remove the seizure focus in the temporal lobe.