The TIME project is concerned with investigating the impairment of memory in epilepsy.
Memory problems are common among people with epilepsy; in fact 50% of people with epilepsy complain of significant memory difficulties. A number of factors contribute to this problem but they are poorly understood at the moment.
The aim of the TIME project is to learn more about Transient Epileptic Amnesia (TEA), a form of temporal lobe epilepsy which causes temporary and persistent memory problems.
Our research looks at three problems that may contribute to the understanding of impaired memory functioning in epilepsy:
- Seizures causing attacks of memory loss
- Accelerated long-term forgetting (ALF)
- Autobiographical amnesia
The TIME project was launched in 2003 as a nationwide investigation of Transient Epileptic Amnesia (TEA). Since then, 100 cases of TEA have been recruited from around the United Kingdom to allow the detailed study of this syndrome and we continue to add new cases to our register.
We are using pen and paper tests of memory ability and brain imaging technologies to investigate the nature of the memory problems associated with epilepsy. We are trying to find out whether these memory difficulties are caused by seizure activity, underlying changes in the brain, the drugs that are used to treat epilepsy or by psychological factors.
This is a continuing programme of research into the clinical and theoretical aspects of transient epileptic amnesia. The project is now managed from the University of Exeter Medical School in Exeter, in collaboration with colleagues in Edinburgh, Sydney, Cardiff, Oxford and Buenos Aires.