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When a patient with epilepsy complains about poor memory
  1. A Zeman
  1. Professor of Cognitive and Behavioural Neurology, Peninsula Medical School, Barrack Road, Exeter EX2 5DW, UK; adam.zeman{at}


Patients with epilepsy often complain of “poor memory”. The first step in managing this complaint is a clinical evaluation to define and, if possible, quantify the problem. The memory difficulty may be entirely unconnected to the epilepsy. But if the two appear to be linked, establish whether the memory problem is due to the seizures themselves, the pathology that underlies the seizures, their treatment, or their psychological sequelae such as anxiety or depression. Further management depends on the cause, while practical advice on the amelioration of poor memory can be useful.

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