What Types Of Direct Treatments May Be Considered
Medications:When the subject of direct treatments for memory disturbance comes up, everyone naturally thinks of medication. Sometimes a mild stimulant may be helpful. At this point, the main drugs approved by the FDA specifically for memory disorders are for the treatment of early Alzheimer’s disease. These drugs may increase the brain’s level of neurotransmitters thought to be important for memory formation. Even though no accepted guidelines exist for using these medications to treat memory problems in people with epilepsy, some specialized centers are beginning to use them. People with epilepsy and their doctors should consider the indirect treatment approaches first, but direct management of memory problems is not out of the question. Clearly, though, the jury is still out with regard to the ultimate future benefit of this kind of treatment.
Memory Problems And Education
A study of school children with active epilepsy in West Sussex found that over half of the children had problems with memory. If your child has memory problems they may find learning more difficult, and may need extra support at school to help them remember what they are being taught. If you feel your child may have memory problems you should discuss these issues with the school. We have more information about epilepsy in schools.
If you are in higher education and have memory problems, you could speak to the college or university disability advisor about adjustments to help you. This could include recording lectures or being given extra time in exams. We have more information about epilepsy in higher education.
The disability support services at my university provided me with a dictaphone and I was able to record all my lectures. I also would use my phone to record myself, and then right up to an exam I would put my headphones in and listen to myself right up until the exam door.
For a tough exam last year I spent a while changing catchy song lyrics to facts and theories and then listened on repeat. It definitely helped!
Breakthrough: Understanding And Reversing Memory Loss In Epilepsy Patients
New research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham identifies an epigenetic cause for why patients with temporal lobe epilepsy tend to have memory loss, and suggests a potential way to reverse that loss. The findings, published in April in the Annals of Translational and Clinical Neurology, indicate the discovery may have implications for many other memory disorders.
Patients with temporal lobe epilepsy have a high incidence of memory loss, even when seizures associated with epilepsy are controlled well by medication. The UAB research team targeted the BDNF gene, which is known to play a role in memory formation. The gene produces a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
An epigenetic process called DNA methylation regulates when genes are turned on or off. When turned on, a gene transmits instructions for the production of its particular protein. When turned off, production of that protein ceases. Disruptions in DNA methylation can affect whether a gene is on or off, with a corresponding change in the amount of protein produced.
Lubin says that a great deal of what science knows regarding memory formation and memory loss can be attributed to knowledge gained in the study of epilepsy.
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Absence Seizures In Adults
This article deals with the causes, the symptoms and treatment of absence seizures in adults. Absence seizure is just one of several types of seizures that can appear as a result of some abnormal electrical discharge in the brain. /p>
Symptoms of Absence Seizures in Adults
How can we know that we are one of those who have absence seizures? Symptoms that indicate this type of seizure include often day dreaming, or staring a couple of seconds at something. People who have this kind of seizures dont remember anything that was happening during that lapse of time.
This seizure can interrupt them in the middle of some work and they can suddenly stop doing that and after a few seconds continue with the previous activity. Other symptoms that include absence seizures include alterations in muscle activities, fumbling of hands etc. After the seizure, there is no reminiscence of what has happened. One finds it very difficult to recognize this condition in its early phase as it lasts so shortly.
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How Can I Reduce The Chance That I Will Have Temporal Lobe Seizures
No medications or treatments can prevent epilepsy. However, because some seizures develop from other health events for example, as a result of brain injuries, heart attacks and strokes you can take some precautions to reduce your risk of developing seizures.
- To lower your risk of traumatic brain injury , always wear your seatbelt when driving and drive defensively wear a helmet when biking clear your floors of clutter and power cords to prevent falls and stay off ladders.
- To lower your risk of stroke, eat a healthy diet , maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly and dont smoke.
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What Is The Outlook If I Have Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
The more seizures you have and the longer you have them, the greater your risk of a decreased quality of life, depression, anxiety and memory impairment.
Medication is successful in controlling seizures in about two-thirds of people with temporal lobe epilepsy. For the other third, surgery helps about 70% become seizure-free.
Medication isnt successful in controlling seizures in about 75% of people who have mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. However, 75% of these individuals are seizure-free following surgery.
If surgery doesnt work or if youre not a candidate for surgery, electrical brain stimulation devices can be tried.
Which Cognitive Functions Are Impaired During Absence
A variety of different testing paradigms have been used to study impaired consciousness during absence seizures . In fact, the different tests used illustrate that several cognitive functions may contribute to consciousness. There has been considerable dispute in the absence literature, whether impairment of some cognitive functions with sparing of others, qualifies as impaired consciousness. Does a patient who appears normal and is able to talk, but has transient slowing of reaction times during spike-wave episodes, have impaired consciousness? On the other extreme, can a patient who is completely unresponsive and has no recall afterwards of episodes be considered unconscious, or is the patient simply immobile, mute, and amnestic due to selective motor, verbal, and memory impairment ? Ultimately, to answer questions of this kind, a more specific, mechanistic definition of consciousness is needed, along with a better understanding of the underlying physiological processes. Until this is achieved, and perhaps as a means of achieving such a definition, it is useful to study each of the specific cognitive processes that may contribute to loss of consciousness.
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How To Restore Memory Loss After Seizure
Seizures which affect mainly the temporal lobe of the brain are seen as the most common type of seizure affecting many individuals. People who suffer from seizures always look for ways through which they can improve their memory loss after suffering from these seizures. In this way, their cognitive functioning and overall independence assist them to boost the quality of their lives.
Depression and anxiety are some of the common side effects of suffering from seizures in most of the individuals. These mostly happen if an individual does not have the possibility to train or restore their memory. This has led to the development of ways or programs which can help in the treatment of cognitive and behavioral of people who suffer from seizures. This may involve the use of a new computer technology. The technology works in a way that if the brain is exposed to the correct exercises it will reshape to start functioning properly and more efficiently especially when it comes to the processing of information. This incorporates the use of video games.
What Types Of Indirect Treatment May Be Considered
Adjusting Seizure Medications: For people being treated for epilepsy, the most common way to treat the memory indirectly is to manage the seizure medication better. Optimal treatment of your epilepsy ultimately will enhance your memory by reducing seizure frequency and side effects. The doctor may adjust dosages or begin to add or delete various medications. Most often your memory will function best when you are taking the smallest amount of medication that is effective. Some medications also have fewer side effects than others, so sometimes a change to a different medication can help. Alternative forms of epilepsy treatment are another possibility. These may include surgery for some people.
Treating Mood Problems:
The next step in the indirect treatment approach may involve treating other conditions that affect memory. People with epilepsy often benefit from further attention to their mood and emotional functioning. Treatment for depression or an anxiety disorder can have a significant impact on memory. This often can be accomplished by adding an antidepressant medication to your regimen. At first glance, it may seem as if adding another medication will just increase the risk of side effects. Actually, improving a person’s mood is more likely to help memory.
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Conflict Of Interest Statement
JG-R and KJ receive funding from the National Institutes of Health. DJ receives funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Genomics. JB is an unpaid co-investigator for the following studies: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study to investigate the efficacy and safety of cannabidiol as add-on therapy in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex who experience inadequately-controlled seizures a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of IVIG in patients with voltage-gated potassium channel complex antibody-associated autoimmune epilepsy an open label extension study to investigate the safety of cannabidiol in children and adults with inadequately controlled Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut syndromes and a study on the compassionate use of stiripentol in an intractable epilepsy due to Dravet syndrome and malignant migrating focal epilepsy of infancy. BB has served as an investigator for clinical trials sponsored by Axovant and Biogen he receives royalties from the publication of a book entitled Behavioral Neurology of Dementia he serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Tau Consortium and he receives research support from the NIH, the Mayo Clinic Dorothy and Harry T. Mangurian Jr. Lewy Body Dementia Program, and the Little Family Foundation.
What To Do If Someone Has A Tonic
Witnessing a person having a tonic-clonic seizure can be upsetting, but its important to remember that most seizures resolve on their own after one to three minutes. To offer assistance:
Protect the person from injury by helping them to the floor and clearing away furniture or other items. Do not attempt to hold the person still.
Do not put anything in the persons mouth. It is physically impossible to swallow ones tongue, and putting things in the mouth may lead to injury.
Time the seizure.
A seizure lasting more than 5 minutes is an emergency. Call 911.
Calm reassurance can be helpful to a person who is recovering from a seizure.
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Epilepsy And The Family
Epilepsy can sometimes be inherited, or passed down, in a family. If youre planning a baby and concerned about the potential risks of epilepsy in the family, ask your doctor to explain any risks in your case. Genetic risks dont apply to all epilepsies and, in most cases, are low.
The unpredictable nature of epilepsy can result in significant worry for children as well as their parents. People with epilepsy have a higher risk of experiencing depression and anxiety. Parents of children with epilepsy can sometimes experience isolation, stigma and the financial strain of increased medical appointments and time off work. They also report higher levels of anxiety and depression compared to parents of children without a chronic illness. In these cases, its important that parents also feel supported, which may include professional psychological support or financial assistance.
Parents with epilepsy may worry about the impact that their condition has on their role as a parent. You may decide to have a discussion with your child about your epilepsy and what to do in the event of a seizure. If you would like further support as a parent with epilepsy, the Epilepsy Foundations Information Line is a free service for supporting people living with epilepsy.
Siblings can also feel overlooked when one child has additional needs . Siblings Australia has a range of resources for supporting siblings of children and adults with chronic illness or disability.
The Connection Between Alzheimer’s Disease And Silent Seizures
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine found that people had increased levels of a protein called deltaFosB in their hippocampus for about two weeks after a silent seizure. This protein is responsible for regulating other proteins, and researchers found that it suppressed the creation of another protein called calbindin.
Calbindin is necessary for the creation of new memories, which is one of the things people with Alzheimers disease struggle with the most. The low level of calbindin means that people will have a harder time making and keeping memories. Researchers looked into supplementing calbindin levels in mice who had silent seizures and found that this practice can improve memory in animal models.
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What Causes Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Causes of temporal lobe epilepsy include:
- Unknown causes .
- Injury to brain cells, which results in scarring in the temporal lobe .
- Brain abnormalities present at the time of birth, including hamartomas and malformation of cortical development.
- Brain injury from such things as vehicular accidents, falls or any blow to the head.
- Brain infections, including brain abscess, meningitis, encephalitis and acquired immune deficiency syndrome .
- Brain conditions and brain vessel abnormalities, including brain tumors, strokes, dementia and abnormal blood vessels, such as arteriovenous malformations.
- Genetic factors or genetic mutations.
How Epilepsy Can Affect Memory
There are many concerning aspects to having epilepsy, and one of the most upsetting is its impact on the memory. Epileptic seizures interrupt brain function, and as a result they interfere with the memory process. Seizures may also cause physical damage to the parts of the brain that are tasked with storing or retrieving memories.
What is Epilepsy?
People have varying degrees of understanding about epilepsy and the seizures that come with this central nervous system disorder. People who have epilepsy suffer from abnormal brain activities that lead to outcomes that vary, but which are all generally described as seizures. Though most people understand a seizure as an acute episode called tonic clonic and characterized by twitching and uncontrollable body movements, a seizure can be as mild as a loss of awareness. People may simply think that a person with epilepsy is simply daydreaming, while their staring blankly into space is actually what is known as an absence seizure in midstream. Once a person has two seizures, they receive an epilepsy diagnosis, even though they may never have another episode: others may suffer with constant and violent symptoms.
The Brain and Seizures
Focal vs. Generalized Seizures
Is The Problem Memory, or Attention?
Is the Problem Memory, or Retrieval Speed?
Epilepsy Drugs and Memory
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What Does An Absence Seizure Look Like
If your child experiences an absence seizure:
- They may look like they are staring off into space or have a blank stare. Your child has temporarily lost awareness of whats happening around them.
- They may suddenly stop all activity even in the middle of an activity and will not respond during the seizure. This is especially notable during school or when they are breathing heavily.
- Their eyes may turn upwards or their eyelids may flutter.
What Happens After An Absence Seizure Ends
Your child usually continues whatever they were doing before the seizure. Theyre usually able to think clearly and are wide awake. However, if more than one seizure happens close together, your child may look or act confused and lose their place in whats going on around them. For example, during the seizure, they may miss hearing instructions from teachers or what has been said in a conversation.
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Epilepsy Models For Studying Impaired Consciousness
Epileptic seizures are usually classified as either partial, involving focal brain regions, or generalized, involving widespread regions of the brain bilaterally . Partial seizures associated with impaired consciousness are referred to as complex partial seizures, while those that spare consciousness are called simple partial seizures. Complex partial seizures arise most commonly from the temporal lobe. They typically begin with an unusual abdominal sensation or premonition, followed by staring, unresponsiveness, and simple repetitive movements of the mouth and limbs lasting 1â2 min, followed by amnesia for the episode. We and others have recently discussed a possible mechanism for impaired consciousness in temporal lobe complex partial seizures, in which network interactions with the upper brainstem and medial thalamus inhibit function of the bilateral fronto-parietal association cortex .
The most âpureâ example of impaired consciousness in epilepsy is absence seizures. Like generalized tonic-clonic seizures, absence seizures are classified as generalized. However, in absence seizures the impaired consciousness is accompanied by relatively few additional motor or other complicating phenomena .
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An Absence Seizure
- A sudden stop in talking or doing something for a few seconds
- Blankly staring ahead without being aware of your surroundings
- Not responding when spoken to
- Repeated movements, such as lip-smacking or eyelid fluttering
- After the seizure ends, suddenly continuing the activity you were doing before the seizure started
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