Can Parkinson's cause petit mal seizures?

Wintunwoman asked...

Can Parkinson's cause petit mal seizures?

Expert Answer

Graham A. Glass, MD, is the co-founder of PEAK Neurology and Sleep Medicine, LLC with multiple locations across Alaska. Previously, he was deputy director of the San Francisco Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Care Center PADRECC and assistant clinical professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Glass received his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at the San Antonio School of Medicine and completed his neurology residency at Tufts-New England Medical Center. He subsequently completed a fellowship in movement disorders at the Mayo Clinic.

The short answer to your question is "no." On occasion we have patients with PD, particularly those with a lot of cognitive symptoms have episodes that look like partial seizures such that they are staring off or somewhat unresponsive for a few moments. Rarely have we ever seen EEG findings of seizure in these patients and no one is really sure what is happening in these episodes. That being said, its imporant to make sure that these aren't seizures (with an EEG) from other causes and also to exclude other possibilities such as low blood pressure etc. I hope this helps.