Community Forum

Help with Memory & focus

Hello, I am having a problem with memory loss and focus or as my husband says "air-headed" (just a joke).  I have spoke with my neurologist & he says that the medication will cause it.  My medication is working with my seizures so I really don't want to mess with it.

I was layed off from my job and is currently going back to school, and now having the same issues I had in school.  As I do more research on my seizures I believe I was having Absent seizures as I was told they can cause learning issues.  Now I am still having them, not the seizures, the learning and focus problems.  My Doctor said that I need to seen someone about adult ADD because he thinks I could have had it as a child and not diagnosed.

Has anyone else had this problem?  If so is there any vitamins or herbal remedies that really work I could take?

Thanks,  Trina


If you want an in depth look at both memory and focus, try to find a copy of the Nerves in Collision book by Walter C. Alvarez, M.D. (about the many epilepsies) and the How To book about Hyperactivity/ADHD Inattentive (1981) by C. Thomas Wild.  Both books can provide small insights here and there (no miracles) into memory, concentration, paying attention and focus.  There's a lot of evidence that the right epilepsy medicine can reduce seizures;  there's also a lot of evidence that the right medicine for ADHD (coffee, caffeine compounds, Ritalin, Dexedrine, Adderall, etc.) can temporarily improve memory and focus a little for some users.  The thing about the ADHD meds is that they do not work for everyone;  even when a med works for ADHD, the med only partially works.  Also, unfortunately, many of the ADHD meds tend to reduce the seizure threshold.  A few persons are lucky and find a great med but that outcome is not guaranteed for everyone.  Alvarez and Wild cover the basics about paying attention, processing, and memory with zero promises.  Good luck.  Some epilepsy meds have less memory problems for some users than other other epilepsy meds.  Everyone is different.         

Need help with memory & focus? Think harder. Yeah, just a joke. So your doctor says the medication will cause it. Okay, ask the doctor who said that to prove the medication is causing 'your' problems with memory and focus. Instead of seeing someone about adult ADD, maybe you can search around for an epileptologist, who is a neurologist specializing in the treatment of epilepsy.

Even if it appears your medication is working with controlling your seizures, there might be a chance that you are taking just a teeny bit too much medication, which could be producing your side effects of memory loss and difficulty focusing. When there is a side effect listed for any medication, that side effect was added to the list because someone experienced it.

I've been taking lamotrigine (generic Lamictal) since around 1998. The dosage amount I'm currently taking is 175 mg, twice a day. However, there is no single 175 mg tablet or capsule of lamotrigine. So what I'm doing is combining a single 150 mg tablet with a single 25 mg tablet. Several years ago a previous doctor wanted me to increase the dosage amount up to 200 mg twice a day. I did not notice any change in my seizure activity, but did notice signs of short-term memory loss. So I told my doctor that I want to decrease the dosage back down to 175 mg. Some day I may request my doctor to decrease the dosage amount of lamotrigine down to 150 mg, just to see if it would give me any better results. I'm also taking a second medication, 750 mg of levetiracetam (generic Keppra), twice a day.

Bruce (I'm not a doctor, but instead, an epilepsy support group leader, epilepsy advocate, who has epilepsy.)

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

24/7 helpline