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24.03.2014

Epilepsy memory and concentration problems, mental conditions of soldiers - Review

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Just like people experience seizures and epilepsy differently, people with epilepsy can experience specific types of effects on memory depending on the cause of the seizures and what part of the brain they originate from. It has been found that negative cognitive side-effects from medications could cause slowing in thinking and attentional problems. People with epilepsy are more likely to have sleep problems due to night-time seizures or a disrupted sleep pattern.
People with epilepsy more frequently suffer from mood issues, both because of their reaction to having a chronic medical condition, as well as the chemical changes in the brain as a result of seizures.
Food rich in anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be great for the brain.
For more information on this topic you can also read our information sheet called Epilepsy and Memory. Attention problems may be the core weakness leading to memory problems in many people with epilepsy. Sometimes these problems are the result of difficulties forming new memories and sometimes they are due to difficulties retrieving or remembering information.


We start by attending to the information, and then the brain processes and encodes the information before it can be stored for retrieval at a different time. However, people who only get auras are least likely to be impacted cognitively in the long run as compared to people with complex partial seizures and tonic-clonic seizures.
This is particularly true for the seizure medications phenobarbital, valproic acid, and topiramate. People who suffer from chronic poor sleep show problems in focus, concentration, and slowed thinking.
Examples of foods that contain these types of nutrients include berries, nuts, and oily fish. Some ways to improve sleep quality and quantity include going to bed and waking up at the same time every day and to keep a specific routine that you do prior to going to bed. Use one place for important belongings (such as keys or glasses), and return the item back to the same place. Regardless of whether this is due to the epilepsy medications or due to the seizures, it does present a barrier to learning. These can happen for many reasons, including seizure type, medication side-effects, mood, lack of sleep, age, or as a result of epilepsy surgery.


Fresh produce, especially dark leafy and bright colour vegetables are also very rich in nutrients that could help brain functioning.
This includes writing summary notes, drawing mind maps for remembering different concepts, and repetition. This type of memory helps you remember things such as what movie you saw a month ago or conversations that you may have recently had. Individuals who have status epilepticus are most at risk of a sudden drop in memory following each episode. She also currently does the pre-surgical neuropsychological assessments for the Epilepsy Clinic at Vancouver General Hospital.
Ideally it is recommended to have 30 sustained minutes of exercise at least three times a week for optimal brain, cardiovascular, and mood benefits.



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