Epilepsy Foundation

Did your Memory Improve or Get Worse After Brain Surgery?

My Dr. has recommended Brain Surgery for me. But as I told him, THE Most important thing to me BY FAR is my Memory!! BY FAR!!!!!

So one thing I'm going to ask him is what I'm asking those of you that have already had the surgery............Did your memory improve, or get worse after the surgery? I've read other posts on here talking about the seizure part of the surgery, but little is said about the memory part.

Before my head injury at the age of 14, I had a Photographic Memory. I was an Intelligent person  After the injury, and more importantly after all that POISON the dr's gave me, my memory now SUCKS!!! I can't remember basically ANY of my childhood!!! My long term memory and short term memory is Terrible! This was caused mainly due the Side effect of all those "Meds" the Dr's had me, including: Dilantin, Neurontin, Depakote, and Lamictal/Lamotragin. All those POISONS had MANY side effects, the worse being memory loss. I didn't find out about that until Years after taking it. I had told the dr. that I was having trouble with my memory, yet he never said it was a side effect. I learned it was by watching a Special about Dilantin on..........................the DISCOVERY CHANNEL!!!!!!  I asked the Dr. why he never told me...........he said........."oh........uhhmm..............you...........you never asked."    WHAT!!!!?? I guarantee you he didn't even know!!! They are just Drug dealers!!

So with this new Dr., I told him if I had to pick between my seizures going away, and my memory returning, I would EASILY choose my memory. What is the use of living and doing anything if you are not going to remember it!!!!!???? The reason we do anything, is for the memory of it! Those memories should last our whole lives!  Think of it, our Memories make up WHO WE ARE!! I don't really know who I am, since I can't remember my childhood!!

Right now, with the Very Poor memory I have, I feel DEAD!! So I will do the surgery IF there is a chance that my memory returns. Does this surgery do anything for memory? 

Anyone else have this kind of Memory Problems?


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I don't know about the memory returning, but the chances of it staying are better.  Fortunately I have been able to keep my long term-memory, but have trouble with the short-term stuff.  If you already have issues with the old memories, then I don't see the issue with the surgery.  I went through with the surgery so that there was less of a chance to losing what I still had.  I tend to blame the lack of short-term memory on the obvious issue, epilepsy and seizures.

Like I said, the long-term is there, it's just the short-term that I have trouble with, although not all of the time.  I was on Dilantin for the first 4 months of my medication application, then added Lamictal.  After going to UCLA Medical Center, I was informed that Dilantin and Lamictal actually kind of counter acted each other and was taken off Dilantin with Keppra added in it's place.  I tend to think that the main problem for some of us with TLE is that it is effecting our recall.

For me it is that my right hippocampus had been deteriorating over the years of my growing up (epilepsy didn't hit until my 30s), I have to accept what had been lost there.  The other thing is looking to the positives and ways to get around memory problems.  Take lots of pictures and video.  My wife takes so many pictures just for fun, not for me, that it would be hard to forget anything.  Just some options.  The most important thing is to try and find the positives and work towards that.





My memory took a nose-dive just after surgery.  Everything I just learned at my job I forgot how to do.  People I just met before the surgery I forgot who they were.  Then about 5-6 months after surgery, I could see improvements until the memory was better than before surgery.  I feel going off my three meds one at a time helped.  I'll just say I can't complain with the memory I have now.  It's not 100% but about 20% better than before.



I needed to be reminded people names than I remembered people and this didn't happen  with everyone or everything. My memory was bad for a short while and I had brain surgery in 1982.

After I had surgery in 2009 on my right temporal lobe I first didn't notice a change in my memory. But when I was talking to my dad he said I seemed more "sharp" and focused. I still remember a lot of memories from my childhood and I remember tiny stuff thats not so important. My doctors told me before the surgery that I had a chance of short term memory. But almost four years after surgery I don't have memory problems. I would say my memory got better and my grades have gone up. But I really think it depends on what part of the brain you are getting surgery on and how the medication effects you. I take Keppra XR now and it has no bad side effects to me, I just take it just in case my seizures do come back and I don't want to take away the privilege of driving and going to college. But I really do think the memory depends on the person and their unique situation.


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