From what I can tell in my research, it's not the ablation itself but the beta blockers that lots of us are put on before (and often after) the ablation that causes short-term memory loss. Here are two links that might help. The first is a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic (known for its expertise in the area of catheter ablations) which only mentions the potential for memory loss regarding the actual procedure. Based on the question asked of him, I think he would have mentioned if memory loss was a side-effect of having an ablation. He seemed to suggest that the only memory loss should be of the procedure. The second link is to a site that mentions that short-term memory loss is associated with beta blockers.
I'm a 24-year-old law student and I began beta blockers for AVNRT in October. I had my ablation at the beginning of December and have been terrific as far as my heart goes ever since. However, I noticed that before the ablation, the beta blocker I was on (Toprol XL) made me feel lazy and un-motivated and made it difficult for me to learn things in school. I've always been an excellent student and am in my last year of law school. I was convinced it was the medicine and my doctor confirmed this. He cut my dosage after my ablation earlier this month and now I only have to take a small dose at night. That's helped a lot, but I can still tell I'm not quite myself. I'm supposed to get to cut it out altogether in January, so I'm hoping that's the case. I'm convinced the medicine not only makes my memory worse but that it makes me far less motivated and outgoing. Can't wait to get off this stuff!
Here's another link I found discussing the effect of beta blockers on your brain/memory: http://www.memorylossonline.com/glossary/betablockers.html
Post Edited (legllyblnde) : 12/25/2006 10:05:17 PM (GMT-7)