Can Seizures Cause Memory Loss?

Can Seizures Cause Memory Loss?

Can seizures cause memory loss

It is a common thing for people who suffer from seizures to have memory loss conditions. The problem with the loss of memory is mainly due to having these seizures affecting them.

A seizure is a condition that affects a person’s memory especially if they suffer from epilepsy. When a person suffers from frequent seizures they are prone to be affected by the loss of memory often too. For some people the seizures are generalized that is they tend to affect the whole of the brain, while others have what is known as partial seizures which only affect a certain part of the brain. There is another group which has a combined set of both types of the seizures, that is, the generalized and focal seizures.

The mode of the seizure affecting a person’s memory is determined by the part which gets to be affected by the seizure. This is mainly for the focal type seizures. The brain is divided into two halves or hemispheres. Each hemisphere is further divided into 4 more parts or divisions known as lobes namely

1. Occipital

2. Parietal

3. Temporal

4. Frontal lobe

When the frontal and the temporal divisions of any of the hemispheres are affected by any condition which leads to seizures, memory loss conditions do occur.

Verbal memories, for example, learning of names and remembering facts for exams is mainly the function of the left temporal lobe. Seizures that tend to originate in this lobe may cause a person having difficulties in recalling words and they usually have the problem of talking mid-sentence.

For visual memories, such as the remembering of a person’s face or tracing a way around a place is mainly the function of the right temporal lobe. For prospective memory, the frontal lobe is for this function. Any abnormalities in this lobe, issues with recalling things a person is supposed to do in the future crop up.

Can Seizures Cause Memory Loss?

From the above facts about the different functions of the different lobes of the brain, any abnormalities or conditions such as seizures affecting them may lead to a person suffering from memory loss.

  • Seizures have been known to be a condition that causes memory loss every time a person suffers from them. A person may have problems in their recalling of information or facts once they suffer from one. This condition occurs after suffering from a seizure and is known as Postictal Confusion. After recovering from the condition a person stops having its effects since it completely vanishes. The postictal confusion condition varies from one individual to another.
  • The postictal which occurs after seizures is a description of the feeling or behavior of a person after their seizure comes to a stop, they may be confused, tired, or yearning to sleep/rest. Memory loss from seizures is increased if an individual suffers from temporal lobe epilepsy too. This is due to the fact that creating memories is the main function of the temporal lobe
  • The memory loss conditions become more difficult and advanced even when a person has put measures to control their seizures. It is a known fact that seizures lead to memory loss and other cognitive deficits especially in people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Memory being a natural process of the brain requires care and normal recording by lobes of the brain. When seizures do occur they tend to lead to interference with the memory of a person. This is by the interruption in the normal attention or care in the input of information in the brain. This causes confusion to a person after a seizure, memory becomes blurred or foggy and any new memory traces do not get laid properly in the brain lobes.
  • Seizures which are referred to as tonic-clonic/grand mal seizures which may lead to a person being unconscious can cause the interruption of the normal functioning of the brain. This causes the disruption in the data recording session of the short-lived memory. When this becomes frequent it may lead to long-term memory loss. The long-term memory loss probably may be due to failure by the brain memory system not having fully integrated the information into its system.

Extreme cases and prolonged seizures or status epilepticus accompanied by hypoxia which is having an insufficient oxygen supply to the brain lobes may lead to a secondary destruction of the memory system.

How To Restore Memory Loss After Seizure

Seizures which affect mainly the temporal lobe of the brain are seen as the most common type of seizure affecting many individuals. People who suffer from seizures always look for ways through which they can improve their memory loss after suffering from these seizures. In this way, their cognitive functioning and overall independence assist them to boost the quality of their lives.

Depression and anxiety are some of the common side effects of suffering from seizures in most of the individuals. These mostly happen if an individual does not have the possibility to train or restore their memory. This has led to the development of ways or programs which can help in the treatment of cognitive and behavioral of people who suffer from seizures. This may involve the use of a new computer technology. The technology works in a way that if the brain is exposed to the correct exercises it will reshape to start functioning properly and more efficiently especially when it comes to the processing of information. This incorporates the use of video games.

  • Having memory rehabilitation is another way a person can have their memory restored after suffering from a seizure. For patients suffering from seizures which happen more often, and they are affected by pre or post ictal amnesia or seizures, this method can be used on them.
  • An individual who suffers from seizures should develop techniques and strategies which can help them to cope with their memory loss condition.
  • The results of restoring the memory can be boosted more by use of a type of memory that works for an individual the best in the compensation of another one. For example, a person can opt to stick to the use of pictures to assist them in recalling if their visual memory is getting stronger in any way. This should be combined with consistency and controlling what they can so as to have an easier memory.
  • A person can develop good memory habits after a seizure such as accepting that they cannot cure, make use of the remaining capacities, pay more attention, spend more time doing a thing, repetition, making associations, organizing their things, linking input and retrieval and taking notes.

Can Seizures Cause Long Term Memory Loss?

Seizures will lead to long-term memory loss if a particular part of the brain lobes is affected often by the seizures. This is more often for the focal seizures which tend to affect a certain part of the brain. Short-term memory loss after seizure gets diminished shortly after the seizure ends. A person may have problems in their recalling of information or facts once they suffer from one. This condition occurs after suffering from a seizure and is known as post-ictal confusion.


Seizures can affect any individual though there is no known cure to them. An individual can only ensure that they stick to ways which can assist them being affected by them. These ways may include therapy and use of right diets to curb the same. The side effects of seizures which mainly affect the memory system of the brain can be minimized by the use of means to restore the memory.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad