Did I really promise you that?

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Cricketing legend Tony Greig, left, has suffered epilepsy for years and says people need to realise the impact it has on human memory. Picture: The Daily Telegraph
Source: The Daily Telegraph

WHEN it comes to their promises you may have always suspected politicians have shorter memories than the rest of us.

But a memory test of the nation’s leaders has finally put this on record with politicians doing worse on average than the general population.

Epilepsy Action Australia asked participants in the online puzzle to match eight pairs of pictures by remembering their placement in a grid.

The federal senators and MPs involved took 17 attempts on average to complete the test, compared to 16 for the public cohort.

The tongue-in-cheek poll was to help raise awareness about epilepsy and its effects on memory ahead of Purple Day this Saturday – the global, grassroots campaign about the disorder.

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Epilepsy Action Australia head Carol Ireland said more than half a million Australians would be affected by epilepsy in their lifetime and memory difficulties were part of the condition.

“Some experience memory difficulties as a consequence of having seizures and as a side effect of the medications used to treat the condition,” Ms Ireland said.

“Memory loss is one of the many areas of epilepsy research that requires further investigation to improve the quality of life of people living with epilepsy.”

Cricket commentator and former England Test veteran Tony Greig has suffered from the condition ever since a boyhood accident left him with serious head injuries.

“I have been involved with epilepsy since I was 12-years-old,” Greig told news.com.au. “I went over a ledge in a truck and smashed my head and have been on tablets ever since.”

Greig is now an outspoken advocate of epilepsy awareness – having suffered prejudice during his cricketing career – and says educating people about epilepsy remained a major challenge.

He said politicians had more on their minds than most and it was understandable if they showed a tendency to forgetfulness.

“However I think there is a problem with memory loss from epilepsy,” he said. “Often it can be from the drugs and also scarring of the brain.

“The drugs are getting better and you can improve your memory, but it is still an issue so there is no excuse for people with epilepsy or people in the community to not be aware of it.”

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