Complex Partial Seizures Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Jul 26, 2021
  • Author: Elizabeth Carroll, DO; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Because the term “complex partial seizure” includes any partial seizure with impairment of awareness, it has become something of a wastebasket term. Most people with epilepsy have received a diagnosis of complex partial seizure, even when there is little evidence that the seizures are complex or partial. This is, in part, why the ILAE updated its seizure classification system in 2017. [1]

Psychoemotional behaviors may be demonstrative of seizures but also must be differentiated from psychiatric disorders and should be considered when emotions are paroxysmal and spontaneous. These behaviors include déjà vu, jamais vu, depression, anger, pleasure, laughter, crying, fear, or depression.

Differential Diagnoses