Why may patients with epilepsy have impaired memory?
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases and temporal lobe epilepsy is one of the most common subgroups of epilepsy. Patients with temporal lobe epilepsy often suffer for reduced memory for events (episodic memory). The hypothesis is that epileptic activity that does not lead to seizures (interictal activity), impair neural computations that are necessary for storage and/or recall of an episodic memory. To understand these mechanism is crucial to find treatments that do not only treat seizures, but also improve episodic memory.
In patients that are evaluated for surgical treatment, electrodes are placed within the medial temporal lobe. This offers a unique opportunity to register activity with high spatial and temporal resolution at the same time as the patient performs memory tasks. We aim to identify what type of interictal activity leads to reduced memory for events. This may lead to improved therapies for patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.
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