We have studied three groups of subjects with a working memory paradigm, using 18FDG-PET. Controls show the greatest increase on uptake in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, basal forebrain and angular gyrus. A group of subjects with focal frontal epilepsy did not show increases compared to a control task of attention. Primary generalized epilepsy subjects show the greatest changes in angular gyrus, dorsal temporal, medial frontal and parietal regions. Factor and regression analyses extend these observations and show reliance of both patient groups on the medial and inferior temporal lobe. We propose that the normal network of working memory is disrupted by these two forms of epilepsy and different networks are accessed. Declarative memory may be used as a compensatory system, which results in decreased performance.