Definition of Psychomotor Seizures

Reviewed on 3/31/2022

Psychomotor seizures: This is an older term used to describe a form of seizure that is limited to the temporal lobes of the brain that causes a disruption in awareness of one's surroundings and responsiveness. During the seizure, the affected person can have symptoms and signs such as

  • appearing awake but not responding to stimuli,
  • staring,
  • lip smacking,
  • unusual finger movements,
  • unusual speech or inability to respond,
  • confusion, and
  • repeated swallowing, or
  • chewing movements.

Many cases are preceded by an "aura" that can include sudden sensations of odor, sight, smell, or taste; sudden perception of fear, panic, or joy; a feeling of déjà vu; a sick feeling in the stomach; or other unusual sensations. Most psychomotor seizures last from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. In some cases, they can progress to generalized grand-mal seizures. This is also known as a temporal lobe seizure.

QUESTION

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References
Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.

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