Partial (focal or localization-related) epilepsy is the most common seizure disorder encountered in patients with epilepsy. These seizures are focal at onset—that is, emanating from a localized region of the brain. Patients with partial epilepsy may have seizures that are refractory to antiepileptic drug medication. The financial burden for these patients includes the cost of medical care and often the loss of employment. Psychosocial deterioration may be progressive as long as the seizures are intractable. Management includes confirmation of the type (or types) of seizures, exclusion of an intracranial epileptogenic lesion, and use of appropriate antiepileptic drug therapy. Referral of affected patients to a comprehensive epilepsy center for possible surgical treatment and investigational drug studies should be considered. In the care of the patient with intractable partial epilepsy, the goals should be to render the patient free of seizures and to allow the patient to become a participating and productive member of society.
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