How to Detect Connection between Memory loss and Brain Injury
Meighan Sembrano looks at the most common causes of memory loss, the types of memory loss, and how you might retrieve your memory.
Imagine this – you wake up in a room in which you have no memories getting into, nor falling asleep. You see a man beside you, and you cannot remember his face, his name. You instantly feel as you are in some danger. What you probably remember is doing your homework or crossing the street. So how did you end up in this unfamiliar room?
This is how millions of people who suffer from memory loss are feeling. Because of all those people, we decided to dedicate an article explaining how your brain creates memories in the first place. Brain injury is the most common cause of memory loss and the types of memory loss that we are familiar with. Yes, there is more than one type of memory loss and, most importantly, we are going to talk about the possibility to retrieve your memory after a traumatic brain injury.
Your Brain and its Ability to Create Memories
Before you learn if there is any way on how to improve memory, let us discuss your brain's abilities. How many of your brain's abilities can you think of? Let us mention studying, perception, thinking, etc. Memory is one of those abilities, and it is probably the most important one. Why do you ask?
Think about it this way – without the capacity to memorize things, faces, numbers, and everything around you; you will not be able to remember what has happened just a second ago, you will not be able to remember what you have thought or if you have eaten in the morning.
Sure, you will be able to "study" but what will you learn if you do not have any memory of it? So, to complete all of your brain's tasks, your mind needs to be intact. Then we have to make a difference between short-term memory and long-term memory. Short-term memory is your brain's ability to recall information after only a short time that that information has been received and processed. Then we also have a long-term memory which is our brain's ability to create and store memories for an extended period, maybe even a lifetime.
Brain Injury – The Most Common Cause of Memory Loss
Apart from traumatic brain injury, there are other reasons as well. Things like a stroke, chronic use of alcohol and drugs, lack of sleep, and brain tumour are also caused by memory loss. However, traumatic brain injury is still the most common cause of memory loss. Traumatic brain injury involves an injury to your brain that has happened due to a substantial hit, fall, and blow to your head. This most often results in damage to your short-term or long-term memory.
So, after a traumatic brain injury, the patients are left without the ability to create new memories, so they stick to the ones that they already have, or they cannot remember anything about their life before. If you have any luck, you may be left off by forgetting an appointment or a new phone number. Let us make something clear, everyone forgets something sometimes. However, these people tend to forget way more often than the average person. But why does this happen?
A brain injury often damages the parts of the brain that is responsible for creating, storing, and recalling memories. And if you are wondering if these people remember their injury, the answer is that it is not very likely. After a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic amnesia takes over. Depending on the severity of the injury, it can last for a few hours, days, or a few weeks and even months. These patients are not aware of how the injury has happened, how long have they stayed in the hospital, and cannot remember any details about it. Most likely, they feel confused and frighten due to the lack of information and memory that they have.
Types of Memory Loss
Unfortunately, no best brain foods can help you when you are experiencing memory loss. Usually, a traumatic brain injury affects your short-term memory, while your long-term memory is intact. There are two types of memory loss, and we cannot say that one type is better than the others.
Retrograde amnesia - involves damage to the memories that you have been created before your injury.
Anterior grade amnesia - means damage to the memories that would be set up by the wound. These patients are unable to set up and maintain their new memories for an extended period.
Can you Retrieve Your Memory?
Whether or not and how much in the first place of your memories, you will be able to retrieve after your brain injury, depends on the severity of the injury itself. A study by Sumowski et al. (2010) shows that the interventions to improve memory are ineffective. However, retrieval practice, on the other hand, has its success that you should get informed about.
You can also try some techniques that can help you to refresh your memory, such as creating an album in which you will include photos of your relatives and significant events that you can go through each day. Keeping a journal can help, as well. Setting a routine for your days that would include grocery shopping, taking your medicines, paying your bills, etc. is also a useful technique that can make you feel included in everyday life.
Your memory is far more important than you might think. And what happens when you lose such an essential thing? What are you left with? The thing is that something as big as traumatic brain injury most commonly affects this vital part that helps you to function normally. As we did explain the basics that you should know about the most common cause of memory loss, the types of memory loss, and what does happen in the process, we also explained some techniques that often are useful to patients that deal with memory loss. Some of the top nootropics may not help you with this but trying these techniques cannot possibly do any damage.
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About the Author
Meighan Sembrano is an enthusiast and a passionate writer about beauty, skincare, health, and fitness. You can follow Meighan on Twitter and Facebook.