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Have had a seizure in sleep or just waking up. Feeling exhausted and bad memory. What is causing this?

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2565 Questions
Hi there,
I think I may have had a seizure in my sleep or actually just waking up. I remember seeing things in my right eye vision like moving really fast just in my right eye though, hard to explain but they were like people bouncing up and down if that makes sense and moving really fast. Then I must have fallen asleep for however long and then when I was waking up I know I was awake but I couldn't open my eyes for a sec or two. After I was able to open them though I was so exhausted more than I have ever been for the next two days still feel pretty exhausted but my memory doesn't seem as good though. This was my second sleep, I had gotten up for five min or so and then I went back to sleep for a little while. When I woke up the first time I was not even close to this at all.
My questions are does this seem like a seizure to you? Also, can dehydration or even just stress alone cause a seizure? Also, I still dont feel right and wondering if I will ever be back to before it if it was a seizure? How long does recovery take and can one seizure cause permanent cognitive and memory issues? Also, I know that eegs dont always show positive sometimes and you can have seizures/epilepsy with all tests coming back normal so it is true there isnt really definite way to diagnose a seizure sometimes?
Sorry for all the questions.
Thanks so much in advance.
Posted Fri, 27 Jul 2012 in Epilepsy
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later
Hello and thank you for sending your question.

Your question is a good one and I will work on providing you with some information and recommendations regarding what is going on.

I completely understand your concern that you may have possibly experienced a seizure. In addition in looking at your symptoms we must entertain other possible factors which may have caused the symptoms that you experienced.

Sometimes a limitation in blood flow to the brain can cause these types of symptoms. I would consider this less likely in your case as you are very young.

Dehydration and exhaustion certainly can cause these types of symptoms although it would be relatively unusual.

Stress or anxiety can certainly cause symptoms that are very similar to those which you have described. In this case it is somewhat difficult to determine whether this is the actual factor without using some type of diagnostic test. If you can think about how you have been feeling over the last several weeks or months this might help shed some light on this consideration. If you have been feeling very anxious or depressed or stressed this must be considered strongly. New

The other consideration which in my opinion seems more likely is that you did experience some type of seizure. A seizure is very typically followed by what is called a post-ictal state. This state can last for several hours or possibly even days depending on where in the brain the seizure actually occurred.

In your case I strongly recommend that you discuss this with your neurologist. The neurologist will consider the utility of using a diagnostic test such as an electroencephalogram. As you stated these tests are not 100% accurate but they do give us additional information as we try to put together the pieces of the puzzle which are in front of us.

In your case I do not think you're dealing with anything that is life-threatening. However, I think it is very important that you do seek the counsel of your doctor for further recommendations.

Thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you have found my response to be helpful and informative. If you have additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have had a seizure in sleep or just waking up. Feeling exhausted and bad memory. What is causing this? 51 minutes later

Thank you for such a great reply to my questions and very detailed as well. I just have a few more if that is alright. I have been stressed but not that stressed at all and not so much depression at all, some anxiety but enough though to cause what happened on saturday morning. I have had an mri and eeg done about two months ago for lightheadedness and headaches and both came back normal.

If I did have a seizure can I make a full recovery or can my memory issues be permanent and the after effects? Say I did have permanent memory issues would that kind of damage show up on an mri, like shrinkage of the hippocampus?

I did read that prolonged vitamin d deficiency can cause seizures as well and I have been low on vitamin d for quite some time now. I am not trying to get my levels up by the sun.

I just never felt like i did on saturday it was like a complete switch from friday to saturday on how i felt and especially just on the sec sleep never felt like that before.

Thanks again.
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 13 hours later
Thanks for writing back.
Usually seizures unless recurrent and persistent ( the state called status epilepticus) do not cause permanent memory impairment. Shrinkage of the hippocampus would only be seen in a chronic process like Alzheimer's and its unlikely to take place in this acute insult.
Its also extremely unlikely that Vitamin D deficiency is causing your seizures. We should definitely be looking to improve these levels but I dont think that has anything to do with what you have now.
I hope I have addressed your concerns. Let me know if I can help you with some more information
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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