Parietal Lobe Epilepsy

UW Health's comprehensive epilepsy program at UW Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin, offers state-of-the-art care for patients with epilepsy or those suspected of having seizures.


About Parietal Lobe Epilepsy

  • Parietal lobe epilepsy is a relatively rare form, occurring in about 5 percent of all epilepsy patients, and affects the part of the brain responsible for touch perception, sensory information and visual perception (distinguishing amongst objects). The parietal lobe also is involved in language, writing and math skills.
  • Parietal lobe epilepsy can occur at any age and affects males and females at an equal rate.
  • Causes of parietal lobe epilepsy include head trauma, difficulties during childbirth, stroke and tumor, though as many as 20 percent of parietal lobe epilepsy outcomes are of unknown origin.

Parietal Lobe Epilepsy Seizures

  • Somatosensory Seizures: The most common type of parietal lobe seizure, these seizures are characterized by numbness, tingling, heat, pressure and pain. Patients describe what is known as a "Jacksonian march" wherein the seizure moves from the face to hand and arm and then to the leg.
  • Somatic Illusions: During these seizures patients feel as though their posture is distorted and their arms and legs are moving when they are not. Patients may also report feeling that parts of their bodies are missing.
  • Vertigo: Patients experience dizziness or spinning of their environment.
  • Visual Illusions and Hallucinations: Patients see objects as too close or too far away, too large or too small, or otherwise not right. Hallucinations involve seeing things that aren't really there.
  • Language Disturbances: These seizures are rare, but on occasion patients report difficulty understanding written and spoken words and struggle performing simple math.

Treating Parietal Lobe Epilepsy


In most cases medication is effective in controlling parietal lobe seizures. In the more severe cases surgery is needed.