When a Traumatic Brain Injury Causes Memory Loss
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) affect people in different ways. We’ve written before about the neurological symptoms that can occur after a traumatic brain injury. TBIs can also cause cognitive issues, such as memory loss. You can even suffer from memory loss after a concussion (medically known as a mild traumatic brain injury).
What types of memory loss can happen after a traumatic brain injury?
Believe it or not, there are different kinds of memory. Our brains not only help us remember the first president of the United States, but they also remember how to walk. Our brains also help us recall many conversations we have with our friends and family, or where we put our keys.
How traumatic brain injuries impact episodic memory
Recalling our social interactions is an example of episodic memory. Take a second to think about what you ate for breakfast this morning – that’s your episodic memory at work.
A TBI affects the episodic memory most of all. Posttraumatic amnesia impacts how our short term memories are stored. The more severe a traumatic brain injury, the more difficult it is for a person to remember new information.
Alzheimer’s disease also affects episodic memory. Traumatic brain injuries have been found to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia years after the injury. You may have heard about the chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) affecting the brains of professional football players. Recent studies have shown that people who suffer traumatic brain injuries are more likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those who do not.
Treatment Options for Memory Loss Following a Traumatic Brain Injury
For some, memory problems following mild traumatic brain injuries resolve on their own. This can take anywhere from 24 hours to three months. Rest is the best cure for memory problems associated with TBIs. Getting adequate sleep is essential to recovery.
Some people suffering from severe traumatic brain injuries require rehabilitation. Therapists can help a patient improve his or her memory skills with prompts and other exercises. In-patient rehabilitation can take months to see improvements.
There are some drug treatments that have been found to improve memory in patients with TBIs. However, it is heavily dependent on the patient. Medications like Ritalin and Adderall have helped patients with attention deficit issues and indirectly help with memory problems.
Traumatic brain injuries and memory loss can cause a lot of disruptions and place a lot of pressure on the injured person’s family. Many family members and friends become caretakers – accepting additional responsibilities while adapting to changing family dynamics.
Suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury? Contact Us for a Free Case Review
Memory loss is just one cognitive issue that some patients deal with following a head injury. Many other traumatic brain injury symptoms can be long-lasting or cause permanent disabilities such as dementia.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of others, it is important to consult with an experienced lawyer who understands the symptoms associated with TBIs and their effects on the injured party and their family. Contact us today for a free case review at (312) 578-9501 or fill out our contact form here.