There are several different types of seizure. Classification is important because different seizures have differing underlying causes, and often respond to specific medications:
Partial (focal) seizures
The most frequent type of partial seizure is the so-called complex-partial seizure. This is often called a temporal lobe seizure, since the temporal lobe is the commonest site for these seizures to arise. However, complex partial seizures can arise from any part of the brain. Patients typically experience a strange feeling or odd smell (the aura) followed soon afterwards by an alteration of consciousness. This causes mental clouding and a "spaced out" manner. In general, patients will not respond to commands and may manifest unusual behaviors such as picking at their clothing, smacking their lips or wandering in a purposeless manner. Unconsciousness, convulsions and collapse do not occur.