Epilepsy Talk

Seizures…Memory…Depression. YES, They Are Linked!

May 13, 2020
26 Comments

At least one third of people with epilepsy also have depression.

Epilepsy can have different effects on memory functions and depression for various reasons.

Because the portion of the brain where memory and emotions are stored — the limbic system — can be disturbed by epileptic seizures.

In fact, memory problems are one of the most reported problems that coincide with epilepsy.


A Menu of Epilepsy Auras

April 14, 2020
29 Comments

The fact is: There are probably as many or more types of auras as there are types of epilepsy…

Auras can last from several seconds to more than an hour, and can sometimes end with feelings of extreme tiredness, weakness, heart palpitation, sweating and warmth throughout one’s body.

And some people can experience auras with no seizure(s).

Each and every person’s aura patterns are different.  They vary significantly between individuals.


Stress and seizures…

March 17, 2020
66 Comments

Let’s be honest, you probably didn’t plan on having epilepsy.

But here we are.

And we all know that stress is #1 in the hit parade of seizure triggers.

Endless surveys prove the fact.


Seniors — Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy or Seizures?

March 13, 2020
6 Comments

The question of whether a person has epilepsy or Alzheimer’s can be a tough one.

Take those “senior moments” — memory lapses, zoning out and other temporary confusion.  These seemingly harmless incidents may actually be a sign of epilepsy.  Roughly 1-2 percent of seniors develop epilepsy — and that rate is rising.

But experts at the U.S. National Council on Aging warn that often epilepsy goes undetected in seniors.


Other Voices — Other Lives

February 20, 2020
29 Comments

“There were times I asked myself,
‘Is life really worth living?’
Suicide, now there’s a thought,
But would God be forgiving?”
Ed L.


Epilepsy and Memory…

January 30, 2020
25 Comments

To say that lack of memory is a major worry for those of us with epilepsy is hardly a surprise.

In fact, it’s the number one concern.

Simply put, memory is our brain’s ability to store information and find it again later.

Chemical and electrical changes happen in your brain when new memories are made.

It’s a natural brain process that requires continuing attention and recording by parts of your brain.

Seizures interfere with your memory by interfering with attention or input of information.

Confusion often follows a seizure, and during this foggy time, new memory traces aren’t being laid down in the brain.


Is Epilepsy Inherited?

December 9, 2019
34 Comments

Just because you have a parent, sibling, cousin or aunt who has epilepsy doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have it also.

In fact, if you have a close relative with epilepsy, the chance of you having epilepsy is only about 2-5%, depending on the specific type of epilepsy.

The risk in the general population is about 1-2%.

On the other hand, there is a 92-98% chance for the close relative of someone with epilepsy to NOT have the same condition!

So, even though the risk in families with epilepsy is higher than in the general population, most people with epilepsy do not have any relatives with seizures, and the great majority of parents with epilepsy do not have children with epilepsy.


Is There a Connection Between Seizures and Hormones?

November 25, 2019
69 Comments

Many women with epilepsy have asked their doctors about the connection between seizures and hormones, but not every woman has seen her concerns given the attention she’d hoped for.

Although it is not very well understood at this point, there are scientifically documented connections between seizures and hormones that not all physicians are educated about.

What are hormones?


Sodium — How Much Does Your Body Need?

November 22, 2019
13 Comments

You may think that sodium is a “bad guy” to be avoided or reduced at all cost, because too much is linked to high blood pressure.

But sodium is actually an essential electrolyte, and a deficiency can trigger seizures.

Seizures from low sodium levels are most likely to occur from a serious disease, acute infection or because you tried to run a marathon on a hot day.

One-time or isolated seizures from these causes don’t warrant a diagnosis of epilepsy.

However, epilepsy is sometimes misdiagnosed and you may have an underlying health condition that’s causing an electrolyte problem.


Domestic Violence — When Love Goes Wrong

November 10, 2019
44 Comments

Carol found herself in a cycle of violence from the time she was a child. By adulthood, she had already experienced multiple beatings and hospitalizations.

In the most recent attack, her husband beat her with a board, leaving her with permanent brain damage and a life-long disability.

As a result of her injury, she now has frequent seizures, difficulty with balance, and is terrified to leave her home for fear of having a seizure or falling.


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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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