Department of Neurology

My daughter has epilepsia partialis continua

Q: My daughter is 14 years old. I have been told she has "epilepsia partialis continua". What is this, how is it treated, and what causes it? My doctor has not informed me well. Help!!


A: Epilepsia partialis continua means she has continuous focal seizures, or focal status epilepticus. Unfortunately that term describes a condition, not a cause. It is often caused by a chronic encephalitis, such as Rasmussen's syndrome, or Landau-Kleffner syndrome. It may also result from post-encephalitis and other causes, such as brain tumors.

By definition, the seizures are not controlled and resistant to therapy. The treatment depends on what the underlying cause is. In some cases, drugs that affect the immune system are used, in addition to seizure medications. In other cases, brain surgery may be used in attempt to control the seizures.


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