Epilepsy Foundation

I was diagnosed with epilepsy over a year ago, since then I have been having significant memory problems. I have grand mal seizures and simple partial seizures, under control for the most part. At first I was thinking it was the seizures that were erasing my memory. As I continue researching medication options I am finding that memory loss could be a side effect. I am currently taking 500 mg Lamictal XR, I've also tried vimpat and keppra. Could these medications be the cause? Or is my memory gone forever? Any medications/suggestions to help this?

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Hi lyndsie

Sorry to hear you are having a hard time. I am also on Lamictal. 900 Mgs and I'm doing fine so far. As for the memory loss, that is a possible side effect but it only occurs in less than 5 percent of the people who take it. So if you have never had this problem before then it definitely must be the Lamictal . You just may be one of the unlucky ones in that respect. How long have you had this memory problem now? If it only just started maybe give it a few days and see if it fades out otherwise get to your neuro and tell him or her What is going on.

Also how bad is your memory now? Is it just short term memory?

Chris

Lyndsie,  It sounds like what I hear on here alllllll of the time.  These meds. do somehow slowing the brain to stop the seizures and affects memory.  I was on a very small amount of the Lamictal because of a reaction to it.  I have heard that coming off of it makes the side of affect of memory loss go away.  My memory loss comes from the surgery.  When you have the area that controls it taken out, it is hard to recover from it.

I guess I've had the memory problems on all the medications I've tried so far. Some worse than others though. Now I feel like my short term memory is getting better, but I am still missing knowledge from a while ago.  


Christopher jarrett said:

Hi lyndsie

Sorry to hear you are having a hard time. I am also on Lamictal. 900 Mgs and I'm doing fine so far. As for the memory loss, that is a possible side effect but it only occurs in less than 5 percent of the people who take it. So if you have never had this problem before then it definitely must be the Lamictal . You just may be one of the unlucky ones in that respect. How long have you had this memory problem now? If it only just started maybe give it a few days and see if it fades out otherwise get to your neuro and tell him or her What is going on.

Also how bad is your memory now? Is it just short term memory?

Chris

I am finally controlled.  However it has taken so many years of taking so many different types of medication that I can't remember anythings unless I do it over and over again.  That is one way that you can remember things.  I have a bad habit of repeating my self because of that.  I can't remember were we went on our honeymoon or anywhere.  I just thanks the Lord that I am finally controlled and I can drive and work outside the home.  I never got a chance while my husband was working.  Know that he is retired I just sub when I don't have anything to do so I can enjoy working out in public.

I've had E for 8 years now and my memory got really bad on Dilantin. Kids aren't supposed to take it and my first neuro put me on at when I first had seizures at 13. That was pretty bad lol. Been on a few different meds since then. Keppra for a little while. Lamictal and Topamax currently. My memory has gotten better with the current two, but it's never fully recovered. Like others have said, repetition is what works best for me. Stick to that. Oh, and sticky notes...lots of sticky notes. :P

Thank you all:)

I take 800 mg Lamictal XR combined with 400 mg Tegretol XR every day, and have done so for quite some time to combat what was primarily partial complex seizures caused by temporal lobe epilepsy.  Memory issues are a funny thing, but it's very difficult to determine the magnitude of the memory loss.  I have memory issues, which must be caused by the medication because it works very well to control my seizures.  However, I don't even realize that I've forgotten stuff until someone, usually a family member, brings it to my attention.  For example, if nobody every brings up in conversation that weekend we went hiking 2-3 years ago that I have zero recollection of, I'll never even be aware that I've forgotten it.  My memory seems to work pretty well going back at least a few months, but then it gets a bit hazy and things seem to just disappear here and there.  That's good enough to keep me out of trouble at work.  Things were far worse, memory-wise, before I was controlled however, so this is a pretty good trade.  My seizures were uncontrolled in the late 90's after I was diagnozed, and I can't remember at all most of the events of 1997, and big chunks of 1996 and 1998.  I first started taking Lamictal in late 1998.  Anyway, good luck.  Maybe taking pictures of events and writing stuff down that has to do with work or school will help.

Yes Paul!  You said it like I would!  That is.....when I don't realize I don't remember something until a discussion about something that we have done and I don't remember it at all.  This happens alot when we are driving places and pass things we have done or places we have stayed.  I don't know how many times I had no idea what they were talking about.  They all remembered it but me.

Seems quite a few people with Epilepsy have memory issues. After experiencing seizures and meds for over 40 years,I've come to realize that both the seizures and meds contribute to memory issues. And noticed that the meds contribute to having trouble remembering things as their said to me, and as I read them.

memory loss is no walk in the park, meds can be a major impac, i stopped takin topomax couple months ago, and its been quite a shock on how much my memory has improved, im commin up on 3 years since my surgery,  as things have improved it makes me wonder where the hell did it go, back in august i couldn t rember my adress phone number and a whole lotta other stuff, its more of a shock when memory improves, i can only wonder where the hell did it go, i just wonder what was worse, surgery or topomax, im begining to think meds have had a greater affect  in my situation, just because you can t rember something at the moment doesn t mean its gone forever, meds can block memory

   

Hi Lyndsie,

I have been having more memory loss lately and I have not found anybody who is addressing this. I worked as a surgical technologist but with what has happen with my memory i can no longer scrub in the operating room.I found one DR. that had suggested to contact a speech therapist.He tells me that they are doing more for retraining you memory.

I have also found that going to the gym has helped me in someway with being able to rember a little better. I am also trying to get a study going with Yale neurology students.   

Try it let me know if it helps.

Ray

  

I agree going to the gym helps! I've been going more frequently lately and I am noticing I can remember some things better:)

Raymond DiNitto said:

   

Hi Lyndsie,

I have been having more memory loss lately and I have not found anybody who is addressing this. I worked as a surgical technologist but with what has happen with my memory i can no longer scrub in the operating room.I found one DR. that had suggested to contact a speech therapist.He tells me that they are doing more for retraining you memory.

I have also found that going to the gym has helped me in someway with being able to rember a little better. I am also trying to get a study going with Yale neurology students.   

Try it let me know if it helps.

Ray

  

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