Three patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and without any other risk factors, developed intractable status epilepticus de novo. Intractable temporal lobe seizures followed and were investigated 7-19 years later. Two had bi-temporal abnormalities and catastrophic memory loss and the third, severe temporoparietal damage. Status occurred in the context of steroid taper, fasting and abdominal surgery respectively, and it is unlikely that it was merely due to coincidence. Encephalitis or vasculitis were suspected in all cases, but without evidence; metabolic factors may have been present. Status epilepticus in UC may lead to catastrophic sequelae.