Parietal lobe - Pertains to the part of the brain located behind the frontal lobes, above the temporal lobes and in front of the occipital lobes. The main function is sensation, perception of where the body is.
Paroxysm - Pertaining to a sudden outburst, such as the sudden recurrence of symptoms or burst of epileptiform activity on the EEG.
Partial Seizures - See focal seizures
Pathophysiology - The study of how normal physiological processes are affected by disease.
Perseverance - The act of persisting or persevering, continuing or repeating behaviour.
PET - Positron emission tomography. A diagnostic scan that uses a dose of radioactive glucose to measure metabolic activity in the body and brain.
Petit Mal - An older term for absence seizures. See absence seizure. It is sometimes used incorrectly to refer to any seizure that is not convulsive, eg partial seizures.
Pharmacokinetics - The study of the metabolism and action of drugs in the body. It involves absorption, duration of action, distribution in the body, and method of elimination.
Phenobarbitone - A barbiturate drug sometimes used to treat seizures, particularly in the short-term or acute situations. It is also used for sedation.
Phenytoin - Also known as Dilantin. An older antiepileptic drug used in the treatment of focal and generalised onset seizures.
Photic stimulation - Using strobe or flashing lights at different frequencies during an EEG to detect photosensitive epilepsy.
Photosensitive epilepsy - A form of epilepsy in which seizures can be triggered by strobe, flashing or flickering lights, television, and geometric shapes or patterns. This type of epilepsy is uncommon and there is evidence that it is inherited.
Polycystic ovaries - When the ovaries develop a large number of small cysts.
Polytherapy - Taking more than one medication.
Post-ictal - The period following a seizure. During this time a person may be confused and drowsy.
Postural Strength - Strength referring to (in general terms) the muscles forming around and the trunk of the body including the abdominal, oblique (sides), mid and lower back. Also called core strength.
Predisposition - To be more susceptible to a disease or condition.
prescribed - Doctor's written order to use a medication or other treatment.
progesterone - A female hormone produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands, involved in the menstrual cycle and reproduction.
Prognosis - The outcome of a medical condition such as, the chances the condition will improve, remain unchanged or worsen.
Propagation - Refers to the spreading of seizure activity in the brain
Pseudoseizure - A older term referring to psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, no longer used. See psychogenic non-epileptic seizures.
Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures - are ‘sudden, involuntary changes in behaviour, sensation, motor activity or autonomic function (blood pressure, heart rate) linked to psychological or social distress.’ These events look like epileptic seizures, but are not caused by abnormal electrical discharges. They are often triggered by an emotional or psychological cause rather than a physiological one and can be seen in people with or without epilepsy.
psychological - Relating to, or arising from the mind or emotions.
Psychomotor Seizures - An older term for focal onset seizures.