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Old 12-29-2008, 06:34 AM
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Can seizures affect math skills (or other skills?)


I am a 43 year old man, I have had absence, atonic, grandmal partial and complex seizures for we assume most of my life. 15 years ago I started have the grand-mal (tonic clonic) type and was placed on medication.

Medication works for the tonic clonic mostly....

I usually get an aura prior to tonic colonic seizures, prior to atonic ones I get a 'feeling' and lay down. absense who knows, I don't, except for the 'missing time' when things get a wee bit fragmented.

Anyway, three weeks ago I 'fell' in the bathroom in the middle of the night. Unlike any other seizure I have had I do not recall getting out of bed, I do not recall being in the bedroom and I do not recall my spouse finding me on the floor of the bathroom nor the helping me back to bed.

According to the spouse I had at least two tonic clonic (grandmal) seizures afterward while in bed. I do not recall any of that. I do however distinctly recall the pain and soreness and the vauge feelings I get after 'hard' seizures.

Usually I spend a day maybe two kind of out of it, discombobulated.

Prior to three weeks ago I could do simple maths (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) in my head. Now I am even having a problem doing it on paper I have 'forgotten' how to do math.

I've been 'fuzzy' since that night.

Is this 'normal' or does this fall within the range of normal experiences or is this a new symptom of something unrelated?

I normally would 'go to the doctor' however this past month insurance went bye-bye due to lay offs so we are now paying out of pocket for pills and the few visits we get for existing conditions. I would really hate to run to a doctor for new test and what not if this is just something that comes with the territory.

All help appreciated.

Thanks,

David
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:43 AM
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The answer


is YES. I, too, have tonic clonics, and mine are violent enough to the point that my mind just turns to scrambled eggs, and I become 2 years old again. I actually have to start to relearn things again. Sometimes it only takes a few days, a few weeks.......you get the idea.

When I was unmedicated for a period of 3 months it took me years to totally get things back to where they should be. Not a joke. Ask my family and friends, they will testify to that.

So, yes, it IS possible........

The best thing to do, seriously is start drilling yourself. Get some flash cards, and just start working. And then start doing things everyday after you get back to normal, like Sudoku and crosswords, and other mind-working puzzles.

BTW, welcome to CWE. You'll like it here, so put up your feet and stay awhile, OK? Mr B has made us an AWESOME home here.

Take care,

Meetz
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:22 AM
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Hi David, welcome to the forum.

I'm not sure I would classify that as "normal", as I don't think it is common, but it certainly isn't unheard of either. There was a time when my wife was experiencing heavy seizure activity and cognitive functioning - memory, speech, critical thinking, math, etc. - was shot. I mean she literally was functioning no better than a vegetable. She would wake up, move to the couch and nap all day. She couldn't remember the names of our two kids, much less whether she ate anything or took her pills. It was really awful.

The good news is that *everything* slowly returned to normal over a period of about 6 months after we got the seizures under control and got her off Depakote/sodium valproate. She also used EEG neurofeedback and I believe that helped as well.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:08 AM
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Thanks kindly for your all's help.

I've been keeping this little issue of mine 'under the hat' so as not to worry anyone, that doesn't mean I haven't worried.

You all have eased my mind, greatly obliged.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:43 AM
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Arrow


David

Welcome to CWE, while everyone is different,
cognitive functionality varies and is fluctuated
depending on what area of the brain is being
affected and effected and impacted; and plus
if there is any brain and/or nerve damage
sustained as well. With myself, unfortunately,
I have the latter part which my cognitive func-
tionality can be "malfunction junction"; there
are moments where I can be sharp as a tack
and others it is excessively poor. But what I
have isn't typical of a 'normal' person who has
Epilepsy. But I do know for a fact that it is
a fact that cognitive function can be impaired
if you have Epilepsy, and it can be impaired even
if one is taking medications to control the seizure(s),
it all depends on what region / area / section of
your brain is as implied above.

Your best bet would have had been having the
EEG done to capture the seizure(s) and their
location(s) of such. Having read of your situation,
are you aware that there very well may be help
available for you even if you do not have insurance
or insufficient insurance?
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:11 AM
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Funny but we just recently going thru something like this ... My daughter is in 10th grade. She's always been in advance College math. Her myoclonics now go nuts in that class. During the break we had her switched to an honor Roll math class (same work at a slower pace) hoping that will help her. Its not that the advance math is too hard for her or that she struggles with the class but it seems the intense concentration needed to learn/perform this stuff, trips her myoclonic trigger. She had a 98% average and started getting 60s. She said she knew the work but when she would concentrate to do it, her myoclonics would interfere. She was very upset as she feels its a step down but I tried to explain to her that unless she wanted to be a mathematician? She had more than enough math. I also told her wed watch her myoclonics and see where we go.

Looking back, I see my son probably stopped being successful in math as well in 10th grade. We just kept pushing him and wrote it off as a lazy teenager. It makes me feel bad how we just "assumed" or expected him to be a wayward teenager. We know better now and have apologized to him. He had to take a math class in college for his degree, so he took statistics, thinking it would be easy. He struggled thru it and swears never to take math again, if he can help it. For my kids, I think its not a memory problem but more a thought process problem. I know my son is affected rare bi frontal spikes and waves IF that means anything to anyone. My daughters EEGs, and MRI still reads normal. Video EEGs read unclear or inconclusive.

I wish you well
joan*

Last edited by joan; 12-30-2008 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by joan View Post:
... it seems the intense concentration needed to learn/perform this stuff, trips her myoclonic trigger. ...
Sounds a lot like Mah-jong epilepsy: a new reflex epilepsy
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