Chapter

Epilepsy: Cognition and Memory in Adults

Sallie Baxendale

in Oxford Textbook of Epilepsy and Epileptic Seizures

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199659043
Published online December 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191751363 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199659043.003.0036

Series: Oxford Textbook of

Epilepsy: Cognition and Memory in Adults

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Cognitive difficulties are a daily reminder of their condition for many people with epilepsy. Many factors associated with epilepsy contribute to these difficulties. Some of these factors, particularly those associated with any underlying brain damage, are fixed and are not remediable to rehabilitation. Many treatments for epilepsy including antiepileptic drugs and surgery are also associated with cognitive side effects. The profile of cognitive difficulties associated with someone’s epilepsy can change over the developmental course of the condition, and under the influence of other co-morbidities (which may fluctuate). Patient reports of cognitive difficulties often correlate poorly with formal neuropsychological test scores and are more closely related to measures of anxiety and low mood. Neuropsychological rehabilitation programmes in epilepsy focus on the development of internal strategies to help shore up failing functions. Modifications in the environment can also be helpful in reducing the nuisance of cognitive difficulties in everyday situations. Some people with epilepsy may also benefit from a psychotherapeutic approach to help them understand and accept that cognitive difficulties are an integral part of their condition.

Chapter.  4596 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology

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