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Does accelerated long term forgetting occur in patients recently diagnosed with localisation related epilepsy?

Ashe, Marion (2010) Does accelerated long term forgetting occur in patients recently diagnosed with localisation related epilepsy? Masters thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Purpose: Memory difficulties are a problem for many people with epilepsy, caused by a variety of factors. Research has identified ‘accelerated long term forgetting’ as a possible cause for discrepancy between subjective and objective memory performance in patients with epilepsy, with research focusing on refractory epilepsy. The aim of this study was to examine the objective and subjective memory performance of patients recently diagnosed with epilepsy, including long term forgetting rates. Methods: Newly diagnosed patients with localisation related epilepsy (n=14), and healthy controls (n=13) matched to age, gender and education level were assessed for intellectual functioning, general memory, subjective memory, and anxiety and depression. Furthermore, they were asked to learn a story and a set of visual scenes to a pre-set criterion level, with recall and recognition of both tested after 30 minutes and after three weeks. Results: Patients and controls did not differ in their performance as measured by general memory score on Weschler Memory Scale (WMS) (p=0.281). However, patients demonstrated significantly impaired retention on the learnt story over 30 minutes (p=0.024) and significantly impaired recall over three weeks (p=0.021), when compared to controls. In the visual scenes test, patients demonstrated impaired initial learning (p=0.018), but once learnt, retained the same amount of information as controls over a 30 min period (p=0.652). However, patients had significantly poorer recall (p=0.002) and increased forgetting rates (p=0.003) after three weeks, which correlated with lifetime number of generalised seizures (p=0.040). Seizures during the three week delay had no relationship to three week forgetting scores. Subjective memory scores did not differ between patients and controls, and were correlated with anxiety but not long term forgetting. Conclusion: Compared to controls, recently diagnosed patients demonstrated impaired delayed recall of a story, and accelerated long term forgetting of a visual scenes task. Caution is needed interpreting these results because of the small numbers, and difficulty accounting for contributing factors to cognitive impairment (such as AED use and pathology). However these are the first results of long term forgetting investigations in recently diagnosed patients, and bring into question the need for memory testing over extended delays.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Subjects:R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Medicine > School of Clinical Sciences
ID Code:1476
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 16:14
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 16:14

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