Epilepsy

Can people lose memory after having a seizure?

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2010-08-31 14:44:19
2010-08-31 14:44:19

It depends on the type of seizure, but yes, it is common for people to lose their memory of the events immediately before and during a seizure after it has happened.

Permanent, long term memory loss though, not so much.

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Seizures can cause involuntary changes in body movement or function, sensation, awareness, or behavior. A seizure can last from a few seconds to status epilepticus, a continuous seizure that will not stop without intervention. Seizure is often associated with a sudden and involuntary contraction of a group of muscles. However, a seizure can also be as subtle as marching numbness of a part of the body, a brief loss of memory, sparkling or flashes, sensing an unpleasant odor, a strange epigastric sensation or a sensation of fear. Therefore seizures are typically classified as motor, sensory, autonomic, emotional or cognitive. In some cases, the full onset of a seizure event is preceded by some of the sensations described above. These sensations can serve as a warning to the sufferer that a full tonic-clonic seizure is about to occur. These "warning sensations" are cumulatively called an aura. Symptoms experienced by a person during a seizure depend on where in the brain the disturbance in electrical activity occurs. Recent studies show that seizures happen in sleep more often than was thought. A person having a tonic-clonic seizure may cry out, lose consciousness and fall to the ground, and convulse, often violently. A person having a complex partial seizure may appear confused or dazed and will not be able to respond to questions or direction. Some people have seizures that are not noticeable to others. Sometimes, the only clue that a person is having an absence seizure is rapid blinking or a few seconds of staring into space. It is commonly thought among healthcare providers that many seizures, especially in children, are preceded by tachycardia that frequently persists throughout the seizure. This early increase in heart rate may supplement an aura as a physiological warning sign of an imminent seizure. [1]1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seizure

When mammals have seizures (of the grand mal type), they generally lose muscle control, causing them to lose balance and fall. Their muscles rapidly contract and relax, causing their limbs to straighten and spasm. Sometimes, but not always, they will also lose control of the bladder or bowels and will urinate or defecate as well. After the seizure is over (the postictal stage), there is generally a return to normalcy, with some confusion or reorientation, and then they continue about their business.

You would become unconscious, so you would not be aware of what is happening or know what you are thinking, but things return to normal after a seizure. Epilepsy is not a mental illness, so it does not cause people to go crazy.

During a seizure a person can lose consciousness. If they had a really bad seizure, they could be unconscious for a long time. If they had some damage to their brain, which may be causing their epilepsy in the first place or was caused during a seizure from the intensity of the seizure or the person falling and hitting their head, they could remain unconscious for a longer time and be in a coma. For the vast majority of people with epilepsy, there is only a temporary loss of conciousness when they have a seizure, if any at all, after which they quickly recover.

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