Short and long term memory in pediatric idiopathic epilepsy: Functions and effect of interventions

Yael Schaffer, Ronny Geva

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Multiple diseases affect memory, but only in a few pathological processes, memory systems are discretely affected, allowing to study short and longterm - resilience and susceptibility of memory systems, in the absence of other background cognitive deficits. Idiopathic epilepsies (IE) are considered to have relatively good prognoses and normal or near normal developmental outcomes. Nevertheless, accumulating studies demonstrate memory and executive functions deficits in this population. The aim of this chapter is to describe in details memory systems in children with IE and to present a new structured cognitive group intervention protocol in children with mild memory deficits. The intervention program is designed to improve auditory verbal short term and long term memory using strategic abilities in a specific manner. The program is composed of 5 weekly sessions in a group format. 33 children with IE, ages 9-14 years participated in the research protocol and were compared to 27 age and education matched healthy control. Initial results demonstrate that auditory verbal short term memory skills which were frequently deficient at baseline were improved as a result of the intervention. Further analysis indicated that executive functions mediated the intervention effect. The effects were such that participants with higher EF functioning gained less from the intervention and improved their auditory memory less than participants with lower baseline EF. Results suggest that group therapy for children with mild memory impairments such as children with IE may benefit from short term intervention which is specifically tailored to limit the degree of the persistent auditory verbal memory deficits. Based on these results, the chapter presents a theoretical model for memory intervention paths, designed for pediatric populations with mild memory deficits with emphasis on the role of executive functions in short term memory rehabilitation in these patients. Future studies that will focus on pediatric populations with mild memory deficits and widen the knowledge on executive functions role in memory rehabilitation, utilization of retrieval strategies in memory intervention protocols and methods that help assimilate strategies learned are recommended in addition to examining long term effect and ecology of the model presented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpatial, Long-and Short-Term Memory
Subtitle of host publicationFunctions, Differences and Effects of Injury
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781634841498
ISBN (Print)9781634841481
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.


Dive into the research topics of 'Short and long term memory in pediatric idiopathic epilepsy: Functions and effect of interventions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this