during which neurons
in the brain show abnormally heightened activity. It is common
for epileptic individuals to report amnesia, or memory loss,
for events which happened during the period of the seizure.
In many cases, the individuals also report
amnesia for a short period after the seizure, which means
that there is some disruption of the ability to store new
information. The anterograde amnesia may last for a few minutes
to a few hours after the seizure terminates. There may also
be some retrograde
amnesia, or memory loss for events which occurred before
In rare cases, an individual may interact
normally with his environment during a seizure, but later
have no memory for the events which occurred during the seizure.
This is known as a pure amnesic seizure or ictal
amnesia. A person having a pure amnesic seizure doesn't
show any outward symptoms (such as convulsion).
The individual and his companions may be unaware that a seizure
is occurring. For example, in one reported case, a man was
able to continue playing cards while his seizure occurred,
although he repeatedly asked his wife, "Why are we here?"
Later, the man had no memory for the events which occurred
during the seizure.
It is currently believed that pure amnesic
seizures occur when the seizure is limited to the hippocampus,
a brain structure important in new memory formation.
Article : "STORM
IN THE BRAIN"
by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain