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Long Term Effects of Single Seizures?


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I've been meaning to write this post or ask my neurologist for a while, but I keep forgetting or not getting around to it. I've had a few weird things happen involving noticeable, lasting effects caused by one or two seizures, and I haven't really seen stuff like that mentioned much, if at all. I'm sort of wondering what's up with this crap and kind of curious what the deal is.

Normally when it comes to drugs, I'm pretty open-minded. I have plenty of theoretical knowledge (they're pretty interesting, from how they work to what they do) but minimal practical experience, and I'm fine with other people making their own choices about things. However, several months ago I had two seizures within a couple weeks of each other while people were talking online about past experiences with different drugs, and for a few months afterwards, any time the subject came up in conversation, something I was reading, a song, or anywhere else, I was immediately strongly opposed to it. Beneath that, I knew what my usual reaction was, and in time that became my default reaction again, but it was very strange having a feeling that I recognized as not mine in response to things for a while.

Another thing that happened was when I had my MRI. It was at the same hospital that most of the specialists I get sent to are at, so it's a fairly familiar place. I was fine the whole time until they injected the contrast. A little bit after that, just about the time I was coming out and getting up, I had a seizure. I got incredibly disoriented and had to be directed back to the waiting area, stopping for directions at each turn in the hallway, even though I normally have a very good sense of direction. On top of that, I had to be sent back and forth again because I forgot my jacket and keys. Anyway, I went back there again for an x-ray in a room in the same hall a few months when I was seeing someone else in the same building, and as soon as I stepped into the hall where that had happened before, I got disoriented again. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as before, but I wasn't having a seizure or anything like that (as far as I know) which I could recognize to explain it, either.

I also was reading and talking about someone and had a seizure on a couple occasions, which I think made it harder to talk to/about them for a while, like the first situation.

So I don't really know what to make of this. On the plus side, it hasn't really been an issue for a while with the amount of Topamax I'm on these days. On the other hand, I don't really know what was going on. My best guess at this point is that since it seemed to be based around weirdly-formed memory stuff and was helped by Topamax, it's probably some kind of temporal lobe stupidity.

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Yeah. So, guess what I forgot to bring up at my appointment. I was tired from helping my sister and her friend move the night before. At least I have another one in three months, so I have plenty of time to forget again before then. Anyone else have anything like that happen? Anyone? Bueller?

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To make a long story short, you basically get seizures or at least sensations similar to caused by seizures from just referring to a specific place or person? Seizurey flashbacks? Like in PTSD or something?

Not actually seizures, but sensations similar to them (although less strong), at least in some cases, like getting disoriented and confused when going back to the same place where I'd had the seizure before. With others, like having a different reaction to a topic in a conversation from what I normally would, there wasn't the usual "something's very wrong with my brain" feeling at all. I have very occasionally had seizures where my brain thought something that I didn't agree with, though. With all of those things, it's just very strange to have them happen without all of the rest of the normal weird seizure feelings. It's kind of disconcerting.

So, to make a long story short, yes, I guess.

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Not actually seizures, but sensations similar to them (although less strong), at least in some cases, like getting disoriented and confused when going back to the same place where I'd had the seizure before.

Hmmm. I thought, when something like that happened to me it was a seizure of some sort. And I have a similar MRI experience. I had my first one(without contrast) shortly after the GMal. Guess I "went away" during the test for awhile cuz I vaguely remember the oh-so-rhythmic knocking abruptly stopping and that tinny voice saying my name over and over and over again. Then the knocking commenced. A few weeks later I had another MRI w/contrast this time and when it was over, I was totally disoriented, as you described. Couldn't find the waiting room, where my friend was sitting.

Is that what you're talking about?

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For me, the beginning of it was a lot like that, especially the second time. I went in, I had the MRI with contrast, I had a seizure at the end, and I got really out of it and couldn't find the waiting room. But, then I went back to the same place a few months later for an x-ray, and as soon as I walked in, I briefly got pretty disoriented, and it didn't seem like I was having a seizure (not that I had a portable EEG unit strapped to my head or anything). It was like my brain remembered what had happened the time I was there before that.

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Well, what kind of disorientation was that? Might have been a flashback, or just generally confusing environment where it's easy to get lost (Wolfenstein 3D or something causing sensory overload)?

I'm normally very good with spacial stuff and have a good sense of direction. That sort of thing doesn't happen to me too much. It was the same kind of "Is this the right way, or was I supposed to go that way? Am I even in the right place? Where am I?" feeling I sometimes have with seizures, only it didn't last as long and wasn't as strong, and I felt fine afterwards.

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That's really weird, and I'm not even sure that your neuro (or anybody else) is knowledgable enough to figure it out.

What tea leaves told me is that hippocampus has some kind of "place cells" for specific configurations of stimuli (it's usually related to spatial memory, but as far as I can understand it, humans use it for contexts in general). Each of these cells fires in a specific place, or probably when a specific, remembered combination of stimuli occurs. Maybe there's something in some of your place cells that makes them (or downstream neurons) more hyperactive/epileptic-ish than others? Maybe the seizure "tagged" those cells (which are probably involved in some reverberating/feedback mechanism, because that's how learning process works).

I was trying to find some stuff about those place cells, but I think you can do better.

This is what I've found:

http://www.jneurosci.org/cgi/content/short/23/37/11505

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlere...i?artid=1176356

http://www.nature.com/neuro/press_release/nn0300.html

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To make a long story short, you basically get seizures or at least sensations similar to caused by seizures from just referring to a specific place or person? Seizurey flashbacks? Like in PTSD or something?

Not actually seizures, but sensations similar to them (although less strong), at least in some cases, like getting disoriented and confused when going back to the same place where I'd had the seizure before. With others, like having a different reaction to a topic in a conversation from what I normally would, there wasn't the usual "something's very wrong with my brain" feeling at all. I have very occasionally had seizures where my brain thought something that I didn't agree with, though. With all of those things, it's just very strange to have them happen without all of the rest of the normal weird seizure feelings. It's kind of disconcerting.

So, to make a long story short, yes, I guess.

I have had occasional bouts with what I think is (maybe) what you (perhaps) have exerienced (perchance). I haven't looked into it much, but since I read your post I'm thinking that it may be something more than anxiety--what I've been chalking it up to until this point. I have definately had seizury feelings--that's exactly what I tell my husband when it's going down--seizury, without the seizure. I experience an abbreviated aura (in my case, my aura is usually a tingling, cool breezy feeling across my face) and I find that I'm somewhere where I HAVE had a seizure before. This *recently* happened to me while in the ladies restroom at my office, a place where I have experienced a seizure before. I talked myself into thinking that I was imagining things--that I was working myself up into an anxious frenzy so I feel as if I'm going to have a seizure which, ultimately, never materializes. I don't know. I have jacksonian seizures that, for the most part, affect my dexterity (left hand), my speech and confuse me for a short time (staring). Compared to many people who post on this board my seizures must seem like a canoe ride. Nevertheless, I have experienced what you have explained on more than one occasion. It's quite hard to verbalize exactly what the feelings are, however. An aura followed by confusion and/or deja vu...no full-fledged episodes. Hmm. I doubt I've helped you. I may have just confused myself a bit.

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