Does Epilepsy cause memory loss

“I feel like there may be a problem with my memory. I can clearly remember the hilarious things we did when I was in school, but I don’t remember the name of the woman who introduced herself to me a few minutes ago. I forgot I had an appointment with my best friend today, and I don't even remember where I put the car keys. ”

Familiar? One of the most common complaints of people with epilepsy is forgetfulness, so it’s no coincidence that they visit our Neeraj Epilepsy Clinic most often because of their memory problems. However, in order for someone to get the most appropriate help, first, we need to analyze their critical index of severity and the root of the cause of Epilepsy.

What is memory?

Memory is our ability to process, store, and recall information when we need it later.

There are 2 main types:

Short-term memory: when you keep information for only a short time (minutes), usually while you need it for a task.

Long-term memory: when you want to keep a piece of information for a longer period of time (hours, days, years).

When we try to memorize a new piece of information, a learning process takes place within us. After that, some of the information goes from short-term memory to long-term memory, of which 3 main types are distinguished:

Episodic memory: contains information about everyday events and personal experiences. Episodic memories always store events that occurred at a specific location (Where?) And at a specific time (When?).
e.g. what I had breakfast yesterday, where I was on vacation, what I talked to my friend, etc.

Semantic memory: our knowledge belongs here, about which we usually do not know when and where we acquired it.
e.g. The capital of France is Paris, the zebra is an African animal, etc.

Procedural (non-conscious) memory: this includes our activities and skills that do not usually require conscious thinking or attention, they are performed automatically.
e.g. cycling or driving.

Memory systems can also be divided according to the type of information they process:

Verbal memory: responsible for processing information heard or read.

Visual memory: remember with the help of the pictures we see

When we want to remember something, we need to retrieve the information we just need. A good memory basically requires 3 processes: learning, storage, and retrieval to work effectively. In patients with epilepsy, learning and recall processes are most commonly impaired.

Types of Memory Problems

Problems with memory storage: Epilepsy can make it difficult to remember things.

Problems with retrieval: you may know the knowledge is there, but you can't get it out.

Complications of temporal lobe epilepsy: Repeated temporal lobe seizures can cause the portion of the brain responsible for learning and memory (hippocampus) to decrease over time. Memory issues may result from the death of brain cells in this location.

What are the most important factors that can affect Memory?

1. Sleep during the day and sleep patterns
Sleeping throughout the day or sleeping at an inconvenient hour might impair memory and cognitive abilities by generating an impediment. For a long time, inadequate sleep has been linked to poor memory.

2. Alcohol can impair memory and other cognitive functioning
Acute drunkenness can impair cognitive abilities such as gripping, restraining, and memory.
The person's memory is intact at the first stage of alcoholic intoxication. In the second stage of alcoholic intoxication, there are episodes of transitory memory loss.

3. Unhealthy diet
Improper food and lifestyle choices can result in memory loss.

4. Emotional state and concentration
Often the way you feel can affect how well you are able to remember information. Feeling confident or joyful can change the way your brain works by improving your ability to concentrate and absorb information. If you are anxious or stressed, your brain is more likely to struggle during the 'learning' period. Also, when you have trouble recalling information, worrying might make it harder to find the correct information.

5. Lack of sleep
Tiredness, lack of sleep, or feeling unwell can affect concentration and memory. For some people, sleep deprivation may increase their risk of seizures, whereas seizures throughout the night may cause sleepiness in others. Not getting enough sleep can also contribute to memory difficulties.

6. Age
Gray matter diminishes with aging, which has a negative impact on memory and cognition.

7. Seizures
Before an epileptic seizure: Memories just before the seizure may be lost, as the seizure prevents our brain from storing this information properly.

During a seizure: loss of consciousness can prevent our brains from creating or storing memories.
The brain is divided into two halves known as hemispheres. Each half is divided into four sections known as lobes: the occipital, parietal, temporal, and frontal lobes.
Memory issues in patients with epilepsy are most commonly caused by abnormalities in the temporal or frontal lobes of the brain:
•      The left temporal lobe is critical for verbal memory such as learning names and recalling data for tests. If you experience seizures that begin in this location, you may have difficulty remembering words and may become stuck mid-sentence.
•      The right temporal lobe is critical for visual memories such as recalling a person's face or orienting yourself in a new environment.
•     Prospective memory is influenced by the frontal lobe. Seizures in this area can make it difficult to remember to do tasks in the future.
Following a seizure: a person may experience a Post-ictal state, in which they are confused, sleepy, or wish to sleep, and their memory is also impaired.

8. Surgical procedure
Memory issues are regularly observed following epilepsy surgery. This is particularly common after temporal lobe surgery. Even if the operation prevents seizures, you may experience memory issues thereafter.

9. Anti-epileptic drugs
Medications taken for epileptic seizures can impair some of our abilities, including memory, by slowing the rate of information processing in the brain and impairing our ability to pay attention and concentrate, which is essential for memory to function properly.
Memory issues might occur as a result of anti-epileptic medicine adverse effects (AEDs). Drowsiness or difficulty concentrating might impair your short-term memory and make learning and storing new knowledge more challenging.
You may be especially susceptible to memory problems if you take excessive doses or more than one type of AED. Memory issues are rarely entirely resolved after a medication adjustment.

If you are concerned about the impact of medicine on your memory, speak with your doctor or a specialist. At the Neeraj Epilepsy Clinic, we provide Ayurvedic treatment to our patients. We use herbs and create a balanced life. Come to us for a consultation where our award-winning Ayurvedic specialists, after a comprehensive examination, will develop a treatment plan to improve your memory problem.

How could you “relieve” your memory?

Following habits and routines reduce the use of our memory. If someone takes their pills every day after breakfast, it becomes a routine after a while and does not require much memory involvement. We make changes to our environment and use different tools:

• Our most important things, e.g. keys, ID cards, etc. always put in the same place.
• Let’s label our stores, drawers, and cabinets so we know what we’re in.
• Using a notebook.
• Using smartphone applications.
• Writing a daily activity list.

When should you go to the doctor?

If you are concerned about memory loss, make an appointment at Neeraj Epilepsy Clinic. Our doctors will most likely question you. It's a good idea to bring along a family member or friend to answer certain questions based on observations. Questions could include:

• When did your memory problems start?
• What medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and dietary supplements, do you take, and how much of each do you take?
• Have you lately begun using a new medication?
• What chores are the most difficult for you?
• What have you done to deal with memory issues?
• How much alcohol do you consume?
• Have you lately been in an accident, fallen, or had a head injury?
• Have you been unwell recently?
• Are you unhappy, depressed, or anxious?
• Have you lately experienced a significant loss, a massive change, or a traumatic incident in your life?

Memory problems should not be taken lightly, because if you do not see a doctor, your condition may worsen. Memory has a vital function, its deterioration leads to a decrease in the quality of life. Visit our award-winning Neeraj Epilepsy Clinic and together we will find a solution to your health problem. We are a group of the greatest Epilepsy Neurologists in India, and we have an incredible success rate of 85 percent in treating epileptic patients using combination medication. Neeraj Clinic has treated thousands of patients from all over the world. Request an appointment today!

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