Trouble finding, remembering words

Clovis

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It seems like the last few months I have had a major increase in trouble with finding words or remembering words. Example, on just trying to type example I had to stop and think of what the word was I wanted to use, it didn't just come to me like it normally would have.

I may be talking about one of our dogs and can't remember their name and we've had them for many years.

I'm also having a lot more trouble with short term memory. I'll think of something I want to do in the kitchen while I'm in the living room and if it's more than a couple minutes before I get in there when I do I have no idea why I'm there. I'm also a voracious reader and if I'm reading a book and put it down for more than a few hours I have to go back several pages and reread to remember what is going on.

It is very frustrating and scary. Does anyone else have this trouble? Any suggestions to help it? I do write down lists of things I want/need to do for a couple days out and for items at the store, but anything for just everyday things?
 

Porkette

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Hi Clovis,

I've had the same problem as you for yrs. and a lot of it is do to the seizure meds but then again I found out that I've had so many seizures over the yrs. that it shrunk and hardened my right hippocampus where short term memory is so when I had brain surgery a few yrs. back my neuro surgeon removed the right hippocampus.
A persons speech is on the left side of the brain and if your seizures are coming from that area this could be one reason why you are having trouble with speech also. Ask your Dr. to do a wada test on you this shows what area of the brain a person uses for speech and memory. When I had mine done they found my speech was on both sides of my brain instead of just the left.
Another thing that could be causing this is if you use a cell phone each day it has been proven it can cause short term memory problems with some people do to the frequency the phones use. I never realized this until I started having seizures when I was around a lot of people using there phones it would trigger seizures for me, my Dr. found out I was cell phone sensitive after he did a e.e.g. on me.
Wishing You only the Best and May God Bless You!

Sue
 

Clovis

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Thank you for your reply Sue. I will ask my doctor about that test.it sounds interesting and it would be nice to get that information.

I don't use our cell phone much at all. I may make one call a week and I always use speakers to keep it away from my face. I do text some but not much. For the very reason you stated.
 

CQ:)

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Hi Clovis
I often find I either forget my words or I might go to do something then forget what I as doing.

I had a neuropsych evaluation done in 2015, the neuropsychologist said my memory was so in the normal range but from our chat he picked up that I was also stressed. He found that my memory was more affected when i got stressed and tired.

I notice even now if I’m really stressed I have trouble with my words. It happens more so at work because it can get pretty crazy. There are times I’ll go into my bosses office to say something to him and forget so he’ll suggest I go back to my desk until I remember. I job share my position as full time was too much but on the days I’m there I have a notebook I use to make notes of anything my boss wants me to do or anything I need to do for the day. The notebook stays with me at all times. There is also a diary on the desk which myself and the other girl use to keep track of things that need to be followed up.

My long term memory is fine it’s more the short term memory I have issues with.
 
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CQ:)

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A persons speech is on the left side of the brain and if your seizures are coming from that area this could be one reason why you are having trouble with speech also.
Hi Sue
I have left temporal lobe epilepsy and it was scarring on left front temporal lobe which I had removed during my surgery.
I’m pretty sure I remember a neurologist at the epilepsy clinic I go to once telling me speech is on left side which is why I sometimes write in gibberish during my seizures.
 

Nakamova

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I agree with CQ's recommendation of a neuropsych evaluation. It measures cognitive function in a variety of areas -- speech, short-term memory, long-term memory visual memory, recall speeds, pattern recognition, etc. If there are problems, it can help identify where they are occurring in the brain, and can also help diagnose what the causative factors may be (i.e. meds, seizure damage, menopause, depression, etc.). The neuropsych can suggest remedies, tips and workaounds to help. The evaluation is also useful for setting a benchmark so that if you take a test later, you can tell what functions may have changed.

In terms of speech, there are multiple areas of the brain involved. The area in the left frontal lobe (called Broca's area) is known to play a large role, but for some people both frontal lobes are involved, and some times if there is damage other parts of the brain can take over some of the speech functions.

One thing that can help with short-term memory is to encode information in multiple ways. So if you write something in a notebook as CQ does, you're combining audio and visual processing (taking in information that you hear from someone talking to you) with visual and muscle memory (writing), and immediate recall (reading what you've written). Writing something twice, or in a particular color, or saying it as you write it can also help. Even singing information, or writing in down both in English and in a different language (if you know one) can help! The more "hooks" for memory retrieval, the better.

Clovis, have you tried audiobooks? You may find that if you hear a story you retain more of it. Experiment with different approaches, and see what works for you.
 

Clovis

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I write down quite a few things. Items we need from the store, things I want to do around the house, errands we need to run, etc. With most shopping lists I end up writing them at least twice because I keep lists on the refrigerator and in my purse.

We listen to audio books fairy often. We can find quite a few on the net for free.

I would really like to get some more brain tests to see if we can find out what is going on. I have had EEG's in the past and none of them showed anything around anywhere in my brain.

Before I had my VNS implant I had an MRI of my brain and it didn't show anything either.
 

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One of the biggest things I "forget" is "Did I take my meds this AM/PM???" Thankfully I have my little weekly containers to run back to and check. With the days all seeming the same, it's hard to remember 🙄
 

CQ:)

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Writing something twice, or in a particular color, or saying it as you write it can also help. Even singing information, or writing in down both in English and in a different language (if you know one) can help! The more "hooks" for memory retrieval, the better.
I do this for my seizures/ migraines & headaches.
I use a notebook app which has everything I need including a calendar. I use the calendar section of the app just to record my seizures and migraines. A particular color for the sieuzre and if there is something in particular that happened I need to discuss with neuro I'll note it.
With the migraines/headaches I have a few colors one for seizure headahce, one for migraine, one for generalised headache that I usually wake with. I then usually note which part of my head the pain is coming from eg left right, whole. I've only just started keeping track of my migraines the last few months but found color coding them helps keep track of what type they are and whether they are seizure related.
When I'm due to go see the neuro it all gets transfered onto a word doc where I note any other info to discuss with him.
 

Porkette

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HI Folks,

I know this may sound crazy but both my neurosurgeon and neuropsychologist found that I was using more of the left side of my brain for memory after doing some tests on me. I was also told to do a lot of word search puzzles and to go on line and type in brain teasers which are
riddle that are so simple they are hard and by doing this it would better my memory and I can see where it has helped me a lot. If you have some
free time give it a try. I wish all of you only the best and May God Bless All of You!

Sue
 

Clovis

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Thanks for the reply Sue.

I do a lot of different kinds of word puzzles almost every day, word search, crossword and a variety of others. Since I broke my back a couple months ago I've had plenty of free time to do them, but I have always enjoyed them, even from childhood. I also do jigsaw puzzles and read many different kinds of books.
 

Sabbo

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Hello. A lot of AEDs cause short term memory issues. Topamax/Topiramate is notorious for that and "word-loss". I take 400mg/day of it & 400mg/day of Zonisamide. I'll often have times when I know what I want to say--I can even "see" it in my mind, as if its written on paper, but my brain & mouth can't connect. Recalling things from childhood is no problem, and sometimes I have trouble remembering what I went up into my bedroom to get or what I said the night before!
 

Clovis

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Believe me Sabbo, I know what you mean about not remembering what I went into a room for or what I said or did just a few hours ago. Sometimes even a few minutes ago. Like you I can remember things from my childhood but not what I had for breakfast.

I have been on so many different meds over the years I don't know if they ate what has affected my memory or if its the seizures themselves or both.
 

Sabbo

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I've been on almost every AED out there for the types of seizures I get. I began my relationship with anti-seizure drugs in 1987. That's when I had had 3 or 4 tonic clonics, & was given Tegretol, which I'm allergic to. Other AED's I'm allergic to are Keppra, Depakote, & Lamictil. I have also taken Phenobarbital, Primidone, Mysoline, Dilantin, & Neurontin.
 

Loopy Lou

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I was going to recommend a neuropsych eval too, i had one a week or two ago, and i had one around 2011ish too. I've not got the results from the recent one yet, but the other one had a really in depth report which showed exactly which areas i had problems in. In my recent one, i could remember long strings of numbers forwards and backwards (i have an extraordinary memory for numbers), but had trouble repeating simple stories which had been just told to me, and remembering pairs of words. Usually the tasks start simple and go up in difficulty.

I usually rely on lists, writing things on the calendar - even simple day-to-day stuff like when i get paid, when bills are due, when i need to pick up meds. I get my meds in a nomad tray where the chemist sorts them out for me, so i can check if i've already taken them. I'm awful for double-booking myself or forgetting appointments.
 

Sabbo

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I always make lists of important things to do/get to help me remember. I've been keeping track of my seizures in a journal since 2005--about 5 years after I began having complex partials. I tell people to note what time those occur, & what I do/how I act during them so that I can record it.
I've enjoyed doing puzzles, since I was a kid. I especially like large jigsaw & fill-in word puzzles. I do lots of word puzzles to help my memory.
 

Clovis

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I've been on almost every AED out there for the types of seizures I get. I began my relationship with anti-seizure drugs in 1987. That's when I had had 3 or 4 tonic clonics, & was given Tegretol, which I'm allergic to. Other AED's I'm allergic to are Keppra, Depakote, & Lamictil. I have also taken Phenobarbital, Primidone, Mysoline, Dilantin, & Neurontin.

Like you I have been on all those meds with either little effect on my seizures, breaking out in a rash or anxiety so bad I was almost climbing the walls. When I was on Tegretol it started eating away my jaw bones and now I have teeth that move around occasionally. I also started getting cavities and I was 40 and had never had one until I got on that,
 

Clovis

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I was going to recommend a neuropsych eval too, i had one a week or two ago, and i had one around 2011ish too. I've not got the results from the recent one yet, but the other one had a really in depth report which showed exactly which areas i had problems in. In my recent one, i could remember long strings of numbers forwards and backwards (i have an extraordinary memory for numbers), but had trouble repeating simple stories which had been just told to me, and remembering pairs of words. Usually the tasks start simple and go up in difficulty.

I usually rely on lists, writing things on the calendar - even simple day-to-day stuff like when i get paid, when bills are due, when i need to pick up meds. I get my meds in a nomad tray where the chemist sorts them out for me, so i can check if i've already taken them. I'm awful for double-booking myself or forgetting appointments.
I wish I could get one. I don't know if my neurologist will do one or not. And finding one anywhere around here within 100 miles that will take my medical coverage is impossible. Believe me we've being trying for a couple of years both for myself and my husband who has other kinds of neuro problems.
 

valeriedl

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I have a ton of memory problems. I keep a small weekly calendar with me and write things that I've done down in it during that day. Like going shopping, going to a friends or family, out to eat, things I've done around the house and anything else I wan't to remember.

I have a lot of trouble remembering words. Like said I can see it in my brain but the word that it is just won't come out. Half the time I'll end up doing charades and the person will finally know what I want to say.

I do word searches and other types of games that help me remember words.

My dad and I read books together. The two of us have a sort of 'book club' with each other. When we talk about the book I might forget something that happened that will lead to something happening later in the book. He'll help me doing it, and he's had to help me a good bit of times.

If I find something that I do to help me remember things then I try to make sure I keep doing that.
 

Sabbo

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I love doing large jigsaw puzzles, but don't get the chance to as much as I'd like to. I also do a lot of word puzzles. I really like "fill-ins", which are basically crosswords in reverse. They give you all the of words listed by size & the grid with 1 word filled in. You've got to figure out where the rest go.
 
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