Temporal lobe -Memory & Concentration problems?

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I am being investigated for TLE. I had an EEG and an MRI and they both came back negative. I have seen one consultant and she is sending me to someone else for a second opinion. I am still experiencing these weird episodes that come on suddenly, i feel a bit nauseous & i feel really weird and disorientated like i am suddenly having a freaky dream but i am awake. I used to get these when i was at school quite a bit and then they stopped for a number of years. last summer they started again and i had 1-3 every day for about a month. Since then i have been having them a few times a month for a year.

In the past 6 months my memory has started to become horrific, to the point where i am forgetting things at work that i should know. I have suffered from depression on and off and along with the memory i have become more anxious in social situations.

Does anyone else who has this condition suffer really badly with their memory and /or concentration? If so is there any hope or will my memory continue to diminish? I also feel more stupid...
Madam Butterfly,

Welcome to CWE!

I'm so sorry to hear about your seizures. Temporal lobe epilepsy has some really confusing types of seizures. I think you have a good doctor that he/she targeted that right away.

Are you on medication right now? If so, which one?

Seizures and the meds can both cause poor memory and confused thinking. It's why it is so important to get your seizures under control before they make permanent changes in your brain. I have problems with both my short term and long term memory. My long term memory is like swiss cheese. I remember some things with great detail. Other things - nothing.

Here are some strings in the forum you may find helpful:




Hi MB,

Welcome to CWE!

Because of their location, temporal lobe seizures in particular can interfere with memory encoding, processing and retrieval. The symptoms you describe, along with the memory issues make a strong case for a seizure disorder. Negative EEGs are not definitive -- many many people are diagnosed with seizure disorders without ever having a positive EEG. The clinical evidence (i.e. the actual symptoms you are experiencing) can be just as persuasive.

I encourage to follow up on the links that Endless provided. And to keep a symptom diary as well, so your doctors can get a sense of how often the odd sensations are occurring.

I have now been officially diagnosed after seeing another consultant and have been prescribed 500mg keppra. They found something on the mri on my left temporal lobe. I am concerned as my memory had been getting worse and i have had depression and paranoia in varying degrees over the last several years.
I am on day 3 of the keppra and so far i have felt a bit down and sluggish but unable to sleep at night... I am worried because quite a lot of people report memory issues when taking it and i wanted to be treated to help alleviate my memory issues...
Also does anyone know if TLE contributes to depression and paranoia?
Hi mb --

Absolutely, TLE can cause depression and paranoia. The location in the brain means that stuff related to mood, perception of others, emotions, anxieties, as well as memory can be affected. If you think that's happening with you, keep a journal noting any unusual emotions or sensations, and ask folks who know you well to let you know if they sense anything off as well. And don't hesitate to talk to your neuro, or a therapist if you feel the depression is taking over.
I would like to thank you all for this discussion...I am new here and wish I had found CWE much sooner! Last month I was able to finally get much more detail/specific information from my Nuero following 2 sleep deprived EEGs. My E originates in my left temporal lobe...from what I have read elsewhere there are different types of symptoms that can come with different lobes of brain? Just wondering if you knew anything on that as I feel very unsure. When I have seizure, I almost always have strong auraus/sensations prior to so I have time to lay on couch, ground, something safer than falling down...during it, I can hear most of the time but cannot see or speak. Do you know if these are also associated with left temporal lobe per chance? I also have the paranoia sometimes as well I think and def have the short term memory thing going on sometimes. But I was able to reduce med recently and that seemed to help as well.

Thanks again, it helped just reading your conversation!!!
Hi rangerwvu --

Here are some of the symptoms and auras that are associated with TLE and simple partial seizures: déjà vu, jamais vu (a feeling of unfamiliarity), amnesia; sensory distortions (unusual sounds, tastes, smells, sights, skin sensations or internal sensations); psychic sensations (like an out-of-body feeling), depression, mania euphoria, fear, and anger.

In addition, TLE can feature Complex Partial Seizures, where your consciousness is semi-impaired -- as in the example you mention where you can hear, but not see or speak. These seizures usually begin with a Simple Partial Seizure (aura), but then they spread to a larger portion of the temporal lobe, leading to the impaired consciousness. There can be staring, automatic hand or mouth movements, altered ability to respond to others, unusual speech, or unusual behaviors.

You might want to read Eve LaPlante's book "Seized" which talks in depth about Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.
Hi Madam Butterfly,

Welcome to the forum, I hope the meds can help control your seizures. I am sure you aren't stupid, unfortunaly we can't always help how teh epilepsy or meds affect us.

I have left temporaral lobe epilepsy & MRIs I've had have shown that I have scarring on the left side of my brain.

I usually have partial seizures which I often call turns. When I take a turn I usually get a really strange dream come into my head, my stomach feels tight & I feel like I need to go to the toilet. If you asked me what this strange dream is about I woudln't be able to tell you but as soon as this dream comes in my head I know I'm most likely having a turn.

The strange dream doesn't last long but after the dream gos away there is a short gap where I won't remember a thing until after I come out of the turn. In the time that I don't remember is when I will either space out or do strange things.

Over the years my memory has gotten worse but I don't think my long term memory is as bad as my short term memory. I also find that I can have trouble concentrating (often more when I am tired). If I am doing a task where I do need to conentrate then I try to take more time doing the task so i don't make too many mistakes.

I try to stay positive but I still have the odd days where I am down & things get to me. I have always had problems with getting stressed easily so I try to keep my stress levels low because stress & tiredness are the 2 main triggers to my seizures.
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Hi MB,

I encourage to follow up on the links that Endless provided. And to keep a symptom diary as well, so your doctors can get a sense of how often the odd sensations are occurring.


I agree with Nakamova, keeping a diary is a really good idea.

I keep a diary where I will write down anything that I think is a turn. When I 1st started keeping a seizure diary I wouldn't write everything down & only write down what I was certain was turn. It took me a while to realise that it helped my neuro more if I told him everything so now I put down everything that I think is a turn or seizure even if it wasn't that bad.

All my family & friends know that I have epilepsy & I have explained to them all what to look out for if I have a turn.

There have been times that I have had a turn in front of family or friends & they have let me know that i took a turn. For some reason when I am 1st told that I took a turn I will deny it. Although eventually I will realise maybe I did have a funny dream so will admit that I took a turn & ask my witness what they saw so I can put it down in my diary.
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My long term memory is really unaffected. My short term memory has gotten bad. I have both simple and complex partials in left partiel lobe. My neuro told me that he feels my memory loss is more likely from seizures and not the Keppra...but he also said that like which came first the chicken or the egg...is memory loss from seizures or the meds? Keppra has been a good drug for me, so even if it is the keppra, I will tolerate it. Luckily now that my friends (and me) are all turning 50, they say I am just keeping pace with the ones suffering from old age! Hahaha
I have seizures in my right temporal lobe. My epi says he thinks my memory problems are due to seizures and not the meds, too. Hooey. On my own initiative I lowered my dose of Trileptal, and my memory and general thinking got better. So did the depression. My seizures weren't under control so I put the dose back up again. Sigh...

I believe someday I'll be off the meds and my memory will be its old self again.
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