A distinctive epileptic syndrome typically occurs in late middle age, transient epileptic amnesia is often mistaken for dementia, cerebrovascular disease, or transient global amnesia. The condition is marked by amnestic seizures³ that typically last 15-30 minutes and occur approximately once per month.

While some people only experience amnesia, other manifestations in addition to amnesia include olfactory hallucinations, brief loss of awareness, automatisms (for example, lip-smacking), and, very rarely, tonic-clonic seizures.

The condition has been linked to a group of persistent interictal (between seizures) memory complaints. These include accelerated long-term forgetting, autobiographical amnesia (inability to recall personal memories), and topographical amnesia (difficulty recognizing familiar locations). Antiepileptic treatment⁴ has been shown to control both seizures and interictal memory disturbances.

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