Will you lose your memory after a brain injury?

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2021 | Catastrophic Injuries

Suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is difficult enough in and of itself. Unfortunately, most brain injuries come with effects that impact the healing process. Not only that, they can influence your life after the incident that caused your injury.

One of the biggest potential impacts involve your memory. You may have heard that TBI victims often experience memory loss. How true is this?

Memory loss at the time of impact

Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center takes a look into the ties between brain injuries and memory loss. Unfortunately, it is common for head injury victims to experience some form of memory loss. Long term memory damage is common, too.

In terms of memory loss, the first instance likely occurs during the incident itself. Short term memory of 15 to 30 seconds gets stored in the frontal lobe. Thus, if your brain experiences trauma, these memories likely do not get stored properly. Many people think they “forget” the incident that caused their brain injury. In reality, your brain likely never stored the memory of it happening in the first place.

Manifestations of memory damage

Most head injury victims do not experience long term memory loss, though it is possible. Long term memories get stored all over the brain. It is harder for one injury to damage many areas that store long term memory at once. Instead, you may struggle to code short term into long term memory. This means you forget things that just happened and struggle to recall what others tell you.

While these issues may clear up with time and therapy, they can still have a negative impact on your life. If you suffer from memory loss after a brain injury, you may want to consult with a legal expert to see what your options are.

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