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Seizures and Short-term Memory Loss

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Old 08-08-2010, 05:48 AM   #1
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Amy9 HB User
Seizures and Short-term Memory Loss

My mom (age 66) had two temporal lobe seizures on Friday. In looking back, we also believe that she had one two weeks prior to that. She had no previous neurological problems, and there is no known underlying cause for the seizures. She began Keppra on Friday night.

She is having a hard time remembering that she had the seizures. I understand that she has no memory of them, but we've told her numerous times what happened. At times, she seems to understand and remember, but then she will ask what happened and challenge the notion that she had them. She is also forgetting other things that happened in the short term (like the fact that I was at her house last night).

Is it common to have short-term memory loss after a seizure? Is it more likely an effect of the Keppra? I'm really worried because her boyfriend is here and staying with her until Wednesday, but then he has to go back home (he lives 4 hours away). Can she be alone after that? Should we have someone stay with her for at least a couple of weeks? I'm afraid if her short-term memory is poor, she will need someone to make sure she's taking her medicine properly, etc.

I know this is really long and thanks for reading this far! This is so new for us and confusing and scary. I'm glad to see that these are boards around!

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Old 08-08-2010, 12:31 PM   #2
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Re: Seizures and Short-term Memory Loss

Hi Amy and welcome to the boards I'm sorry to hear that your mom is having seizures. The memory problems are very common with seizures and the anti-epileptic drugs (AED's) both. It is very possible it is a combination of the two. If your mom is having seizures she probably should not be living alone, especially if this is a new issue and they don't know why, are trying meds, and she isn't used to them and probably doesn't recognize them coming on. If someone else is around and witnessing them it is both safer for her and will help the doctors to hear a witness explain what is going on during the seizures. You also don't know how she will respond to the new meds. AED's are very powerful meds and can have very severe reactions while most people are able to tolerate them fine you never know if your mom is that unlucky 1% that won't until she tries it, therefor, I would strongly encourage you to not have her living by herself at least for a while!
I hope this helps answer your questions. Feel free to ask any others you may have and again, welcome to the boards!

Old 08-08-2010, 04:22 PM   #3
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Amy9 HB User
Re: Seizures and Short-term Memory Loss

Thanks so much, cardshark! It's very helpful for me to hear from others who have experienced seizures themselves or with family members. I know she shouldn't be alone, but she is so independent and stubborn. It's going to be a battle for sure.

I've read a lot about the possible side effects of Keppra, and I will most certainly keep a close eye on how its effecting her. Thanks again for the advice. I know I will be back with more questions!

Old 08-12-2010, 07:32 PM   #4
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Smile Re: Seizures and Short-term Memory Loss

I actually see both sides of the seizures. I have been dealing with epilepsy since I was fifteen and I have a friend that also has seizures. I also understand the stubborness of your mom and it will be hard. I am 27 years old and still have to live with my parents because of the seizures and it isn't easy, but I know deep down that it is the right thing and the safest thing. Not a day goes by that I don't think about what my life would be like without the medical problems and if I could just live by myself.

No that you and your family are not alone! We are here to answer all questions we can and offer support to the best of our abilities!
Good luck

Old 08-13-2010, 05:17 AM   #5
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Re: Seizures and Short-term Memory Loss

Amy9: Mom shouldn't be driving if her seizures aren't controlled. I'm off the road now because of an accident 2 years ago. I'm alone during the day for the most part but I have my husband here at night. She needs to get one of those 7 day pill dispensers with the day of the week on it to put her meds in. She also needs to keep track of these things on a calendar if she's able to.

I can't remember having a seizure and I do have the short term memory loss. When you have a seizure you're losing brain cells. I am seeing a neuro-endocrinologist and I went through a hormone study with him and it's been determined that my seizures are caused from estrogen dominance. Look it up and see if your mother has any of the 40 or so side effects of it. Alot of seizures start at puberty or menopause. For me it's menopause.

On top of Keppra, which doesn't control the seizures, I take Phenobarbital and I'm taking Lupron injections to get the estrogen levels down in me. I'm also taking a progesterone treatment through the endocrinologist. I've found better luck with the endo than the neuro!!!!! The neuro wouldn't listen to me. All she wanted to do was drug me and send me on my way and collect my copays! That's what they're trained to do.

I knew I was having a seizure when I could feel that I had bitten the inside of my lower lip from the spasm that made me bite and grind my teeth. I also was crushing my water bottle in the middle of the night which I didn't remember doing. I haven't been doing that since I've been taking the Lupron. I feel more aware of having the seizures or auras now. I've been on the Lupron for 8 months. I can't take it more than a year because it can cause osteoporosis.

I had cousins, all 3 sisters, that either had migraines or epilepsy and they all said it went away once menopause was over. That's my hope. I hope one day to regain my independence. It surely is life changing, no doubt about it. You're in my thoughts!

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