Standing Up For You

How does brain trauma lead to memory loss?

After suffering from traumatic brain injury, the healing process is often hard to predict. You may go through many ups and downs. You can also face unexpected side effects. For example, many brain injury victims experience some form of memory loss or damage.

How do these brain injuries affect your memory? How intense is the impact? And is there any way for you to recover?

Brain injury damages memory paths

Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center discusses how brain trauma can lead to memory loss or damage. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in particular have a history of going hand in hand with memory loss or damage. This is due to the way memory storage and processing works in the brain.

Memory ends up stored and processed in several different places all over the brain. For example, the frontal lobe contains memories of 15 to 30 seconds in length. After, it goes to the medial temporal lobe for processing. After processed, long term memories get stored all over the brain depending on the type of memory it is.

Memory degradation after a TBI

When a TBI happens, the entire flow of information gets disrupted. Your brain cannot direct memories down the pathways they need to go for processing. This means you forget information more easily rather than storing it. It also means that preexisting memories can face degradation, though this is much less likely.

As your brain recovers, your memory may, too. Over time, your brain can regain its ability to sort and store memories properly. Some memories from the time of the accident may always remain lost, though. You may also struggle with memory loss – especially short term memory loss – even after recovery. This is why many people in your position seek financial compensation for the damages faced.