Focal, or partial, seizures occur when abnormal electrical disturbances affect a limited area in the brain, according to MedlinePlus. These types of seizures are most common in people over the age of 65 who have blood vessel disease in the brain, but many other conditions can trigger focal seizures.
Partial seizures can be divided into two types, MedlinePlus explains. Simple partial seizures do not affect awareness of memory. Complex partial seizures can affect behavior as well as memory before, during and right after the seizure.
Symptoms of focal seizures vary depending on what part of the brain is affected, MedlinePlus states. Patients may experience abnormal movements or eyes moving from side to side. Some experience staring spells, sometimes accompanied by repetitive movements like smacking the lips. Other symptoms include hallucinations or feeling numbness. Sweating, rapid heart beat, abdominal pain and a flushed face can also signal a focal seizure.
Causes of focal seizures include a wide variety of health issues, according to Healthline. Medical conditions such as epilepsy, low blood sugar, kidney or liver failure, and extremely high blood pressure can trigger a focal seizure. Strokes, head injuries, poisoning or venomous bites can also be the culprit. Illegal drugs may cause a focal seizure, and sometimes withdrawal from alcohol or drugs can cause one.