Craig Rosenbaum | June 30, 2023 | Brain Injuries
When someone sustains a concussion, it is typically because a forceful jolt or blow to the head has caused their brain to hit the interior of their skull. This type of impact often results in bruising, which in turn causes the injured party to display a varying set of symptoms.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of a concussion are not always immediately apparent. As a result, it is important to seek medical attention immediately following any forceful or involuntary trauma to the head. This is especially true after a car accident.
Common concussion symptoms can include a combination of any of the following:
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty concentrating
- Fluctuations in mood
- Loss of appetite
Another serious concussion symptom is memory loss. While it doesn’t occur as a result of every concussion, memory loss is a serious issue that has the potential to severely upend the life of the afflicted and their families. This post discusses the specifics of memory loss after a concussion so that you know what signs to look out for.
Traumatic Brain Injuries and Memory Loss
A concussion is a form of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). In this context, the designator of “mild” is extremely misleading. All brain injuries should be taken seriously and treated by a medical professional. There are too many variables in play to leave things to chance, and the consequences could be worse if left untreated.
If you go by what you see in the movies, you are probably under the assumption that memory loss after a concussion can lead to an instantaneous and permanent erasure of your memory. In reality, severe amnesia following a concussion is actually an exceedingly rare occurrence.
When the brain incurs a mild TBI, the first area affected is typically short-term memory. Symptomatically, this can cause the victim to forget what they are doing, have trouble recalling recent events, and remember new information.
For that reason, doctors will usually perform tests that specifically assess the patient’s short-term memory. These assessments tend to involve information recall and paraphrasing.
For example, a doctor might ask a patient to explain a popular aphorism in their own words. If the patient has trouble with these tests, they might have memory loss.
In some cases, memory loss sets in well after a concussion is sustained. Research has shown that this delayed symptom can last for prolonged periods, especially if the concussion is untreated or the patient sustains multiple concussions over a length of time. Prolonged trauma to the head and brain can cause severe cognitive decline.
Unfortunately, many people experience concussions without realizing it. This means they can be exhibiting memory loss that is a direct result of a concussion and attribute it to something else. To that point, the abundance of available research is rapidly changing the way the medical field addresses concussions.
In the past, medical professionals used to shrug off mild concussions, telling their patients that the damage would heal in a few days. Thanks to advancements in the field, experts understand that the reality of the situation is often much more complicated.
Symptoms of Memory Loss After a Concussion
If you or a loved one has recently sustained a concussion, it is important to be on the lookout for symptoms of memory loss.
And if you are experiencing any of the below symptoms, it is crucial to consult a medical professional as soon as possible:
- Consistently leaving essential items behind
- Trouble with memory recall
- Delayed speaking patterns
- Forgetting important information
- Unintentionally asking the same question over and over
Now that you know more about memory loss after a concussion, you should recognize the importance of keeping yourself and others out of harm’s way.