Living with epilepsy can take a tremendous toll on individuals and families alike, as fear and worry associated with cognitive difficulties and seizures diminish the quality of day-to-day living. Even after surgery, individuals may worry about taking part in activities that were too difficult prior to surgery. We recognize that an important part of care is to address the psychological needs of epilepsy patients and their families. Each of our patients work with a trained neuropsychiatrist who specializes in neurological issues and the psychiatric impact of epilepsy, and/or a neuropsychologist who specializes in the brain and behavior and who works with patients on problems with memory and cognition.
Patients with epilepsy frequently have cognitive difficulties including difficulties with concentration, memory, language, and visuospatial skills. A number of causes could be contributing to these symptoms such as a prior brain injury, the effect of seizures, the effect of anti-seizure medications, poor sleep, and difficulties with mood and anxiety. The goal of the clinic is to specifically evaluate and address cognitive difficulties in patients with epilepsy/seizures. The Epilepsy and Memory Clinic is run by Dr. Rani Sarkis (epilepsy specialist and behavioral neurologist) and Dr. Kim Willment (neuropsychologist). The clinic is held on a monthly basis and consists of a combined visit with Drs. Sarkis and Willment usually after comprehensive neuropsychological testing has been performed.