How does a brain injury impact memory?

| Jan 8, 2021 | Firm News |

After receiving a brain injury, you deal with many side effects. Some last hours or days. Others may stretch on for weeks or months. In severe cases, a particular effect can last years or a lifetime.

Where do memory issues fall on this spectrum? How does a brain injury impact your ability to store memories and recall them later?

Where are short term memories stored?

The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center says brain health ties directly to memory health. The frontal lobe stores short term memories. The medial temporal lobe processes long term memories. Thus, injury location dictates how memory storage gets affected.

Short term memory loss and damage happens often because of the commonality of frontal lobe injuries. For example, many victims will experience a mild form of short term memory damage during the accident. If you suffer a head injury affecting the frontal lobe, your short term memory may not store the events as they happen. This can make it seem like you “forgot” the accident when in reality you never stored the memory in the first place.

How does memory damage affect you?

If short term memory suffers, you often need to make big life adjustments to make up for the damage. Many victims must set up systems to help them recall once simple things. This may include doing daily chores or making appointments.

Long term memory damage makes it hard to recall information when you need it. This can include information you know well, like the location of your workplace. Both issues have big impacts on your everyday life.