People with epilepsy can have seizures on one side of the brain, called a focal seizure, or affecting the whole brain, called a generalized seizure.
If a patient with epilepsy has seizures in the temporal lobe of the brain, it is considered temporal lobe epilepsy. Two types of temporal lobe epilepsy exist: mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, abbreviated as MTLE, and lateral temporal lobe epilepsy, abbreviated as LTLE.
A patient who has MTLE has seizures in the hippocampus (a structure of the brain involved in converting short-term memories into long-term memories) and the amygdala (a structure of the brain involved with emotions). A patient who has LTLE has seizures in the neocortex, which is the outer layer of the temporal lobe.
Macalester College noted that LTLE is less common than MTLE. Some patients may develop temporal lobe epilepsy after sustaining a head injury or after a brain infection.