THE FACTS-THE FIRST SEIZURE AND THE DIAGNOSIS OF EPILEPSY: OTHER CAUSES OF IMPAIRED OXYGEN SUPPLY TO THE BRAIN-VERTIGO
Doctors are careful to distinguish true vertigo—a perception of dysequilibrium of the body in its relation to space—from non-specific feelings in the head such as ‘dizziness, or ‘muzziness’ which are so often associated with anxiety and depression. True vertigo is rarely a symptom of a partial seizure in a temporal lobe. Far more common is vertigo due to a disorder of the balancing organ—the labyrinth—lying within the inner ear. The labyrinth may malfunction in an episodic way in both children and adults. In young children the distinction between paroxysmal vertigo and partial seizures may not be easy, as in both the child is frightened, and may either hold on to his mother or fall. The distinction rests on the absence of amnesia or confusion after the attack of benign paroxysmal vertigo, and the presence of abnormal tests of labyrinthine function.
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