What To Do If You Are Experiencing Seizure Memory Loss
It can be really tough to feel that your memory is not working as well as you would like. If you have experienced this, it is important to speak with your epilepsy doctor. While there is not currently a simple solution to the problem of seizure memory loss, there are things that can help:
- Visiting a neuropsychologist – a special psychologist who can assess and treat thinking problems caused by damage to the brain.
- Adjust your medication – if your doctor thinks your anti-epilepsy drug is making it hard for you to remember things, they might reduce your dose or recommend an alternative
- Behavior training– your doctor might give you advice on ways to improve your memory or habits which make it less likely youâll forget those everyday tasks
Conditions That Cause Memory Loss
Memory loss isnt always the result of a severe condition. Sometimes, having a lot on your mind or daily stress can send your mind into a tailspin. However, if you continually forget things, several conditions may be the culprit, including:
- Brain infections
- Oxygen deprivation
Sometimes, memory loss is a symptom of a much bigger problem, such as those listed above. Its often the first symptom of dementia. This condition is characterized not only by changes in memory but also decreased problem-solving and language skills. There are four types of dementia that are unable to be cured. They include:
- Alzheimers disease
- Lawyer body dementia
- Frontotemporal dementia
Dementia usually continues to worsen as time goes by. It can cause many different symptoms other than memory loss, such as:
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty with problem-solving skills
It may also affect your personality and can cause behavioral changes. If you or someone you love starts exhibiting any of these symptoms, it may be time to see Dr. Mehta for an evaluation.
How Do Seizures Affect Executive Function
Seizures that happen in the frontal lobe can cause your planning ability to become weaker. You may not be able to organize your thoughts or your actions in the best way. If you are making a shopping list, for instance, you may think or write the same item over and over.
It may be harder for you to interact with people. Your attention may drift much sooner than before. Some people say their personality has changed after having seizures for many years. It also may be harder for you to stop unwanted behavior. You may say what’s on your mind even when it’s not the right time. For example, it is probably not a good idea to say that you hate your boss when you’re in the middle of your annual performance review, unless you’re willing to deal with the boss’s reaction.
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Network Level Effects In Epilepsy And Dementia
Increasingly, epilepsy is considered to be a brain network disorder, with widespread functional connectivity changes associated with even focal pathologies . Moreover, it is now also appreciated that a major contribution to cognitive impairment in people with epilepsy is seizure activity, regardless of the underlying pathological cause of seizures . In fact, although it has long been acknowledged that status epilepticus or recurrent seizures can impact upon cognition, findings in both animal models and humans demonstrate that interictal spikes or IEDs can also disrupt cognitive function even if remote to the ictal onset zone .
In TLE, simultaneous functional MRI-EEG studies reveal that the medial temporal lobe BOLD signal is increased in association with IEDS . Furthermore, both structural connectivity and functional connectivity are decreased within the DMN, compared to healthy individuals . Recent investigations of epilepsy patients using either functional MRI and/or EEG provide further support for abnormal DMN connectivity , either in the presence or absence of IEDs . Thus there is now abundant evidence for long-distance effects on the DMN in people with epilepsy including TLE, both during IEDs and in their absence.
Types Of Memory Problems
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Memory is commonly reported as a big area of concern for people with epilepsy. If you have epilepsy, your memory can be affected in several ways. In each case, the end result will be that you cannot recall an event or a piece of information when you need it.
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Could Targeting Tau Reduce Seizures
Given the potential links between tau and epilepsyparticularly epilepsy acquired after a brain insulttargeting the tau protein could be an opportunity to develop a true anti-epileptogenic treatment, said Terence OBrien, program director for Alfred Brain and director of neurology at The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne. Animal models suggest this possibility. Genetically modified mice that overexpress human p-tau have spontaneous seizures, while tau knockout micewhich lack tau, and therefore cannot generate p-tauare protected from seizures, both in genetic epilepsy models and in chemically induced seizure models.
The enzyme family called protein phosphatase 2A is involved in multiple types of phosphorylation and dephosphorylation within cells. There are more than 90 variants of PP2A. One, called PP2A/B, is considered to be the primary tau phosphatase. A decrease in its activity correlates with increased tau phosphorylation in vivo and in Alzheimers disease.
A study of three rat models of epileptogenesis found that each model showed a decrease in PP2A activity and an increase in p-tau in the epileptogenic brain regions. Treatment with sodium selenate a known activator of the PP2A enzyme family reduced the levels of p-tau and mitigated epileptogenesis.
Studies using animal models of traumatic brain injury show similar results: Treatment with sodium selenate increases PP2A levels, decreases p-tau, attenuates brain damage and improves behavioral outcomes.
In This Issue
Alzheimers And Epilepsy: Intimate Connections
At first blush, Alzheimers disease and epilepsy may appear to be nothing alike. The former occurs in older people and involves memory issues and other cognitive problems the latter is characterized by seizures and affects people of all ages.
But the two conditions overlap in many ways. Both can involve problems with spatial memory and navigation, lowered glucose metabolism, cellular death and degeneration in the brains temporal lobe, and damage to the hippocampus.
Like people with Alzheimers disease, people with epilepsy can experience memory loss or confusion. As part of an aura, they may hear or see things that arent there. When older adults display these symptoms, they may be misdiagnosed with Alzheimers disease, when in fact they are having a seizure. In older adults without a history of epilepsy, seizures are often nonconvulsive: The person may simply stop and stare for a few moments or become confused.
The parallels between epilepsy and Alzheimers disease are quite striking, said Andrew J. Cole, professor of neurology at Harvard University and head of the epilepsy group at Massachusetts General Hospital. Its surprising there hasnt been more collaboration between the Alzheimers and epilepsy communities.
The conditions also appear to be associated. People with Alzheimers disease have a high risk of developing seizuresmore than 80 times the risk of people who dont have Alzheimers.
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Epilepsy And Memory Loss
Learn about the link between epilepsy and memory loss. We explore seizure memory loss, the influence of medication and feelings of stress and tiredness.
There is nothing worse than being unable to remember something important just when you need it. And for people who live with seizures, the link between epilepsy and memory loss can be especially frustrating.
If you have ever found that you struggle to remember things or miss appointments because youâve forgotten, epilepsy could be part of the reason. So, can seizures cause memory loss and what should you do if you think your epilepsy is making you forgetful?
Can A Dog Get Brain Damage From A Seizure
The short answer is yes, but its not common. Seizures are generally short-lived, lasting a few seconds to a few minutes. As such, they have little lasting effect on the brain. However, multiple seizures over a short period of time called cluster seizures can result in brain damage.
Dogs who suffer from Idiopathic Epilepsy are most in danger for multiple seizures, and should be monitored closely during and after the initial seizure. When a dog has a seizure, his body temperature rises. When seizures are clustered together, the dogs body temperature can remain elevated for extended periods of time, which can cause brain damage and other health issues.
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The Maddening Saga Of How An Alzheimers Cabal Thwarted Progress Toward A Cure For Decades
Lennart Mucke, director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease and a professor at UC San Francisco, has been examining the relationship between epilepsy and Alzheimers in both animal models and people since the early 2000s. He noted in an interview that one reason study results may differ is that some types of seizures are easy to miss. When we looked at patients who had come to UCSF with both epilepsy and Alzheimers disease, it became clear that a lot of the epilepsy they had was non-convulsive, said Mucke.
Patients with these so-called partial seizures might stop and stare, or experience psychic phenomena like deja vu. Seizures that can be detected on EEG during an overnight testing session are often missed during standard daytime tests that may be as short as 20 minutes.
In a 2016 paper, Mucke, who was not involved in the research presented this week, reported that more than 40 percent of the patients with Alzheimers he studied had epileptic activity. Mucke said that he and his colleagues also found in an earlier study that the onset of the seizures wasnt late in the game but could happen shortly before the cognitive decline became manifest.
Can Corrid Cause Seizures In Dogs
Finding the cause of sudden seizures in previously healthy dogs may require a neurology or internal medicine work-up, but the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center notes that often the problem can be traced to a toxin exposure. Before you recommend an MRI, refer to this chart to see if the pet has potential exposure to one of the items.
While Cushing’s Disease is not typically a direct cause of seizures, some of the circumstances surrounding the condition can lead to seizures. In most cases, Cushing’s Disease is caused by a lesion in the pituitary gland at the base of the brain.
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Epilepsy And Dementia In Older Patients: A Bidirectional Relationship
Gowers first introduced the concept of epileptic dementia, implying that dementia and epilepsy might, in some subjects, be the consequence of the same underlying disorder . The higher incidence of cognitive impairment in older people with epilepsy certainly raises questions as to whether these individuals might have increased rates of progression to dementia, particularly those with TLE . As part of the EURODEM project, eight case-control studies that assessed the risks of developing Alzheimers disease in several medical conditions were reanalysed . When compared with population-based controls, individuals with epilepsy had an increased relative risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimers disease at least 1 year after epilepsy diagnosis. The greatest risk for Alzheimers disease occurred in patients who had epilepsy for < 10 years versus > 10 years . Importantly though, this increased risk appeared not to be related to the cumulative effect of longstanding seizures. A follow-up study based on three nationwide Dutch morbidity registers over the period 198089 investigated the risk of dementia for patients aged 5075 years. Patients with epilepsy were found to have a relative risk of 1.5 of being diagnosed with dementia over an 8-year period .
Archived: An Online Chat Discussing The Past And Future Of Alzheimers Research
We had to design a very conservative study that takes these participants out, said Ophir Keret, a neurologist at the University of California, San Francisco who was a researcher on both studies, because we wanted to isolate the effect that epilepsy would have.
Michela Gallagher, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, said the researchers used good criteria for defining unprovoked seizures independent of things that could be causing , and pointed to the large sample size and long time period for tracking each veterans health trajectory as two of the studys strengths. One weakness she noted is that the Veterans Affairs health data used in the study did not allow researchers to differentiate between Alzheimers or other types of dementia. Neither the veterans study or the smaller one has been published yet in a peer-reviewed journal.
Treatment Of Interictal Memory Disorders
- Improving seizure control, reducing or eliminating AEDs that affect cognition , and improving sleep habits help memory in some patients.
- Pragmatic approaches include use of visual imagery, lists and schedules , learning to take simple and clear notes, small portable notepads organized by topic, carrying important telephone numbers and addresses, and use of alarms as reminders. These strategies often fail to fulfill the needs of higher-functioning patients with demanding jobs.
- No medications are proven to enhance memory in patients with epilepsy.
- Studies on dietary supplements and herbal products to treat memory have shown mixed results. Most of the studies have been done in older people or those with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Since some of these can also have dangerous side effects, it is important for people with epilepsy to talk to their epilepsy team before considering any over-the-counter or prescribed supplements or herbal products.
How Long Does Memory Loss Last After A Seizure
Short-term memory loss after a seizure is quite common sufferers may not remember where they are or what they were doing sometimes, complete amnesia can occur for periods of up to an hour. Eventually, reoccurring seizures can cause damage to the memory areas of the brain and result in permanent memory loss.
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Implications For Theories Of Memory
These forms of memory deficit raise issues about the nature of memories in the neuroanatomy and how conflicting observations can be reconciled with either the standard or the multiple trace models. It has been noted that “People with temporal lobe epilepsy provide a natural laboratory for the study of human memory.” TEA, as a form of temporal lobe epilepsy, is of particular interest as one must consider both the loss of long-encoded memories and the simultaneous failure of recently encoded but not immediately short-term memories. The issue of topographical amnesia, which would seem to involve parts of the brain not usually associated with other TEA symptoms, was referred to earlier. These are often considered different kinds of memories with distinct neuroanatomical loci, so that a model to explain both conditions with one etiology is elusive.
The major issues are summarized on the TIME website:
ALF and focal retrograde amnesia after TEA offer clues as to the nature of memory consolidation.
This view of consolidation has been disputed, as it seems to suggest consolidation occurs over long spans of time, not just minutes or days, and “requires physiological changes lasting years or decades.” Such long-term consolidation processes would seem to require multiple stages of consolidation, which remain hypothetical.
A Case Of Cognitive Decline Resulting From Aging Temporal Lobe Epilepsy And Environmental Factors
1American University of Integrative Sciences, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Detwiller Pavilion at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Cognitive functioning is the process that allows humans to acquire and retain information, and hence create knowledge. There are many means and mechanisms through which knowledge can be developed. Cognitive function involves attention, memory, emotion, and executive functioning. Different regions of the brain are relied on more heavily for different cognitive functions. Human experiences are complex and our ability to understand, process, and react appropriately to situations largely depends on cognition. Therefore, cognition is critical in our daily activities.
When a person with high cognitive functioning suffers an imbalance of any of the cognitive areas, they may experience significant distress. Cognitive decline can be caused by a variety of conditions including, but not limited to, dementia, delirium, Alzheimers disease , mild cognitive impairment , temporal lobe epilepsy, and neurodegenerative diseases. We present a 63-year-old Caucasian woman with a history of temporal lobe epilepsy for the past 50 years who began experiencing memory difficulties in the past few years.
2. Case Presentation
2.1. Mental Status Examination
2.3. Neuropsychological Assessment
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Molecular Links Between Epilepsy And Dementia In Older Patients
Another possible explanation for the increased risk of dementia in epilepsy is that some dementia syndromes might also share underlying pathological mechanisms with epilepsy, or that seizures might trigger pathological changes that make the brain more vulnerable to developing dementia pathology. Limited histopathological work has been performed to better delineate these aspects. In their study examining 138 people with chronic epilepsy, found that there was a higher incidence of cerebrovascular disease in older patients, and a significant correlation with cerebrovascular disease and higher Braak stages of Alzheimers disease-type pathology. However, when age was factored out, the association between cerebrovascular disease and Braak stage was no longer significant . Importantly in this cohort of patients, 30% had evidence of traumatic brain injury and this, rather than the number of seizures, correlated with a higher Braak stage . Similarly it has long been recognized that traumatic brain injury can increase the rate of dementia . However, how traumatic brain injury, dementia and epilepsy, which may directly cause head injury through a seizure or indeed be a consequence of a previous head injury, intersect remains incompletely determined.
Can Someone Die From A Tonic
It is possible to die from a tonic-clonic seizure. For example, some people may fatally injure themselves while having a seizure, or they may drown if they have a seizure in water.
It is also possible for someone to die from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy . According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , this happens in about 1 in every 1,000 people with epilepsy every year.
Certain factors may contribute to SUDEP. For example, while having a seizure, a person may unintentionally pause their breathing. If they pause for too long between breaths, the oxygen in their blood may drop to a life threatening level.
It is also possible that a persons airways may become obstructed during a seizure, leading to suffocation. A seizure may also cause cardiac arrest.
To reduce the risk of death from a tonic-clonic seizure, people should:
- try to avoid seizure triggers
- try to avoid drinking too much alcohol
People should only call emergency services if the person:
- has not had a seizure before
- has difficulty breathing or waking up after the seizure
- has a seizure that lasts for longer than 5 minutes
- has another seizure soon after the first
- is hurt during the seizure
- has a seizure in water
- is pregnant or has another health condition, such as diabetes or heart disease
If someone is having a tonic-clonic seizure, the people around them can do the following first aid steps to help:
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