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Project title: Accelerated long-term forgetting in temporal lobe epilepsy

Primary supervisor: Dr Nikki Hunkin

Project description: Complaints of poor memory are particularly common in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Standard clinical assessments, however, often fail to identify a memory deficit despite patientsí subjective complaints. Recent research has suggested that this may be because information is acquired and retained normally over at least 30 minutes (the delay used for most clinical assessments) but, subsequently, it is forgotten at an increased rate. This phenomenon has been labelled accelerated long-term forgetting (ALF). Although commonly observed in TLE, research indicates that not everybody with TLE suffers from ALF. Various factors (e.g. seizure frequency, medication) have been considered as predictors of ALF but none show a consistent relationship with increased forgetting. In this study, the PhD student will investigate the relationship between forgetting rate, volumetric measurements of temporal lobe structures and radiological measurements of temporal lobe pathology in an attempt to identify what underlies the forgetting in patients with TLE who show ALF.

Formal enquiries should be addressed to: Dr Nikki Hunkin (n.m.hunkin@sheffield.ac.uk)

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