Memory and Epilepsy

There are many different factors affecting Memory

These include:

1. The underlying cause of the epilepsy
2. Frequency and severity of the seizure
3. Undetected seizure activity (sub-clinical)
4. Psychosocial factors (mood/drugs/expectations and frustrations)

Triggers for Memory Loss Behaviour

  • Injury to the brain
  • Duration and frequency of seizure activity
  • Medication side effects
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Agoraphobia
  • Repetitive behaviour
  • Panic attacks
  • Palpitations
  • Sweaty palms
  • Anxiety

Strategies

The obvious and easiest way to administer handy strategies to assist you in day to day living are:

  • Diaries
  • Calendar messages
  • Coloured stickers (in areas most visible, eg. fridge, bathroom mirror)
  • Organiser/calculator
  • Pin board
  • Lists – daily
  • Placing items like keys and personal belongings in a familiar spot/control area, e.g. glass bowl/basket
  • Alarm watch
  • Switching ring fingers
  • Elastic on wrist
  • Alphabet

Revised 6/2002

How to give your memory a helping hand!

If you are worried about memory lapses, experts suggest the following:

  • Speak with your doctor. A change of medication or the time of day you take your medicine might help.
  • Make lists of things you plan to do each day; rely on routine and order.
  • Keep notes of telephone calls, important conversations and appointments.
  • Pick one place to store your reminders, and stick with that spot.
  • Think positive. Put effort into listening and storing your memories.
  • Take care of yourself. If you are tired your brain isn’t going to work as well as when you are rested.
  • Stay active socially and intellectually. If you aren’t stimulating yourself mentally or physically, your mental processes are more likely to deteriorate.
  • Be honest with friends and family members. Talk to everyone about their memory lapses.
  • Don’t give up. Be ready to re–learn.

Dawn C Lassiter “In Touch” Spring ‘97