Do seizures affect memory?

By Eduardo Locatelli, MD

People who experience epileptic seizures usually speak about memory loss. Since seizures create electrical impulses in the brain, the brain function in the affected area can be disrupted or even destroyed. If seizures originate from the temporal lobe of the brain, for example, memory can potentially be affected. If seizures happen frequently, memory difficulties can happen more often.

Some people have seizures that affect all of the brain at once. These are called generalized seizures. Others have partial seizures, affecting only part of the brain, and some people have both generalized and partial seizures. Memory problems can happen in both cases.

If you have partial seizures, the way your seizures affect your memory will depend on where in the brain your seizures happen. The brain has two halves (hemispheres). Each half has four parts called lobes. They are the occipital, parietal, temporal and frontal lobes. The different lobes of the brain are important for different types of memory.

Look for our next blog posting as we will talk about specific types of memory loss related to each lobe of the brain.

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