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How Long Does Memory Loss Last After Concussion

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Memory Loss After Traumatic Brain Injury Generally

“How Long Does a Concussion Last?” and Post Concussion Syndrome

According to the brain injury information organization Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center , the stereotypical soap opera form of amnesia rarely happens in cases of traumatic brain injury. More often, the immediate memory loss associated with a TBI affects short term memory and prospective memory .

For example, TBI victims may not remember:

  • The traumatic incident itself
  • The passage of time
  • To carry or pack important items or
  • To engage in important tasks.

Doctors often use simple memory tests to assess the presence of TBI-related memory loss. For instance, they may give a patient three words to remember at the beginning of a check-up and then ask the patient to repeat those words a few minutes later. Or, they may ask the patient to explain, in the patients own words, a common saying like no use crying over spilled milk, or to describe an event they recently observed. Patients experiencing memory loss will tend to struggle with these tasks.

Return To Competition After Concussion

A sobering realization is that the ability to process information may be reduced after a concussion, and the severity and duration of functional impairment may be greater with repeated concussions. Studies clearly suggest that the damaging effects of the shearing injury to nerve fibers and neurons are proportional to the degree to which the head is accelerated and that these changes may be cumulative. Once a player has incurred an initial cerebral concussion, his or her chances of incurring a second one are 3 to 6 times greater than for an athlete who has never sustained a concussion.

Table presents guidelines for return to play after a concussion, including termination of a season. Before an athlete returns to play, he or she must not only be free of PTA symptoms but also of all postconcussion symptoms at rest and exertion. All the guidelines agree on this salient point. Table is a postconcussion signs and symptoms checklist I have found useful. Thus, while it is a clinical decision as to when to return an athlete to play after a concussion, to return an athlete with postconcussion symptoms risks not only cumulative brain injury but the second-impact syndrome and would be against the recommendations of all current guidelines.

Limit Exposure To Bright Lights And Loud Sounds

After a concussion, you might notice that youre especially sensitive to bright lights and loud sounds. You may want to try avoiding big crowds and bright fluorescent lighting for a few days while you recover. This will give your body time to heal and prevent light or sound sensitivities from getting worse.

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Memory Loss Cause # 7 Thyroid Problems

According to current clinical researches, hypothyroidism is present in concerning 5% of individuals over the age of 65, and also females are practically 3 times as most likely to have thyroid problems. Hyperthyroidism is equally as dangerous, both to sleep and also total health and wellness, as well as research reveals that 15% of people identified with an overactive thyroid more than the age of 65.

As we get older, it becomes tougher to determine is thyroid problems are even present- individuals over 70 often have no apparent signs of a thyroid condition, as the symptoms are also present with various other issues they are encountering due to aging. It is estimated that 20% of those over 65 suffer from some kind of thyroid problem. Little is known about how exactly thyroid conditions influence memory, however research study shows a clear web link in between amnesia and hypo as well as hyperthyroidism. Speak to your physician to discover even more regarding your thyroid health and if there is anything you can do to aid improve your memory.

Overview Of Memory Loss

Sports Concussion Facts and Symptoms

Most people tend to think of memory loss in two, somewhat narrow ways. One is in the sense of amnesia, popularly portrayed in soap operas, for example, as a character who gets into an accident and suddenly cannot remember her name, where she is from, or her loved ones. The other is in the sense of dementia, Alzheimers disease, and other age-related cognitive decline. This memory loss, too, tends to be understood as a loss of knowledge about oneself and ones surroundings.

These conceptions of memory loss, however, represent but two examples of a much broader category of disrupted brain functioning. In fact, memory loss takes many forms, such as:

  • Difficulty recalling certain events, often ones associated with trauma
  • Difficulty recalling specific facts
  • Difficulty forming new memories/forgetting what you were just doing
  • Difficulty retaining new information for long enough to act on it
  • Losing track of time and
  • Fading memories of long-ago and
  • Confusion typical of Alzheimers and similar cognitive decline.

So, too, memory loss in its various forms results from a broad swath of causes that include, according to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Aging
  • Progressive and acute disease or infection
  • Side effects of medications
  • Hypothyroidism.

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Improving Cognition After Tbi

You will likely need to have neuropsychological testing to find out what problems you are having and to measure how severe they are. Knowing specific problems can guide treatment better. Specialists who work in TBI recovery programs are trained to look for and treat cognition problems. If you are in such a program, take advantage of their help. There are also many things you can do on your own to improve cognition:

Cognition problems can cause some people to make bad decisions. One of the worst decisions you can make is to treat your symptoms with illegal drugs or alcohol. Also, medicines are often not the answer for cognition problems. Take only medicine prescribed by your healthcare provider. Take no other medicines, even over-the-counter ones, without checking with your healthcare provider first.

Cognition problems and other symptoms of a TBI usually get better over time. The time it will take your brain to recover is unpredictable, because every brain is a little different and no two TBIs are the same. Also, be sure to let your healthcare provider know if your symptoms are getting worse.

What Is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

There is now evidence that repeated concussions could be associated with the development in later life of a particular kind of degenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy .

CTE is a progressive disease with Alzheimers-like symptoms. It was first discovered by neuropathologist Dr Bennet Omalu in the early 2000s in the brain of Mike Webster, a former National Football League player. When Omalu looked at Websters brain tissue under the microscope he observed concentrations of a material known as tau. This is one of two proteins known to accumulate in the brain in Alzheimers disease. Since then, CTE has been found in the brains of 110 out of 111 former NFL players who donated their brains to research.

CTE has many of the same physiological hallmarks of forms of dementia, including Alzheimers disease, particularly the abnormal accumulation in the brain of a protein called tau. In a healthy brain, tau is found in the axons, the transmission lines of neurons, where it plays an important role in maintaining the structure of the internal transport system of these nerve cells. In conditions such as Alzheimers and CTE, tau instead forms tangles that clump together to disrupt the cells transport system.

CTE and dementia share many symptoms and they also share two key proteins that cause toxic clump in neurons.

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You May Suffer Memory Loss After A Concussion

A concussion typically occurs when a person suffers a blow or jolt to the head that causes the brain to move, and to sustain damage, within the skull. Virtually any violent accident or incident can cause a concussion. It is a common injury in motor vehicle crashes, accidental falls, and in a wide variety of sports. Concussions can leave victims battling a host of vexing, persistent, and even lifelong symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, brain fog, light sensitivity, and mood changes.

Another common symptom of a concussion is memory loss, which can cause profound problems for people in the aftermath of a brain injury. In this blog, we discuss the ways that memory loss appears in connection with a brain injury, what it may signal, how people live with it, and what an experienced brain injury lawyer can do to help.

To discuss your rights after suffering a concussion, contact an experienced attorney today.

Concussion And Your Vision

Severe Amnesia from recent concussion

Head trauma and concussions can have major effects on the visual system even when medical imaging shows normal results. The group of symptoms that cause blurred vision, eye coordination issues and dizziness after a concussion is collectively called post-trauma vision syndrome.

The main symptoms that occur in post-trauma vision syndrome are:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Double vision

It seems that people who have more severe post-trauma vision syndrome symptoms are often people who have some type of previous eye-teaming issues. These people tend to have much more difficulty with reading and eye-tracking after a concussion.

Even mild concussions can affect vision and cause visual dysfunction. Severe concussions can cause blindness and double vision.

More subtle effects on vision are difficulty focusing on near objects or on digital devices after a concussion.

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How Is A Diagnosis Made

When a concussion is suspected during a sporting event, a coach, athletic trainer, or team physician should immediately perform a “sideline” evaluation. These tests including alertness, short-term memory recall , long-term recall , and athlete’s ability to stay attentive to a complex task .

When a person is brought to the emergency room with a head injury, doctors will do an exam, ask about his or her symptoms, and ask how the injury occurred. A CT scan of the head may be done if needed. Patients with moderate or severe brain injury are admitted to the hospital for treatment.

Patients with mild brain injury are usually released home after a few hours of observation in the ER. A family member or caregiver must closely monitor and watch for changes in the patient’s behavior for the next 24 to 48 hours.

Return to the ER if any of these existing symptoms get worse or new ones occur:

  • Excessive sleepiness can’t stay awake or can’t be woken from sleep
  • Headache that gets worse and is not relieved with typical medications
  • Increased nausea and vomiting
  • More confusion, agitation, or restlessness
  • Trouble talking, walking, or changes in vision
  • Seizure or convulsion

What Part Of The Brain Is Damaged In Memory Loss

The damaged areas of the brain include the hippocampus, which is an area of the brain that helps new memories form. Damage to the frontal lobe of the brain eventually causes problems with intelligence, judgment, and behaviour. Damage to the temporal lobe affects memory. And damage to the parietal lobe affects language.

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How Concussions Can Affect Your Memory

Most commonly, concussions can affect your memory for up to six weeks. Its usually little things that you will have trouble remembering. For instance, you could forget what you went into the grocery store to buy, the information you have learned for an upcoming exam, or what somebody has just told you. If you suffer short-term memory loss from a concussion, you will need to rely on calendars and write things down so that you can handle your failing memory.

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Can Your Brain Heal From A Concussion

COVID Memory Loss

Rest is very important after a concussion because it helps the brain to heal. You’ll need to be patient because healing takes time. Only when the symptoms have reduced significantly, in consultation with your doctor, should you slowly and gradually return to your daily activities, such as work or school.

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Memory Loss Cause # 10 Dementia

An apparent description to getting worse memory issues, particularly the capacity to remember recent events, names, as well as phone numbers, is Alzheimers illness and also associated dementias. While not all older adults struggle with memory-related diseases, the threat of establishing dementia increases with age. New innovations in technology have actually made it feasible to find Alzheimers disease in your physicians workplace with a straightforward eye test, as well as there are several cognitive tests that can likewise be done to assist find out the precise nature of your memory problems, so make certain to reach out to your doctor if you suspect your memory issues are becoming an issue for you..

How Long Will It Take Me To Recover From A Concussion


  • A concussion is a traumatic brain injury and is also referred to as a mild traumatic brain injury.
  • The term mild refers to the severity of the trauma, not the consequences.
  • It is common for MRI or CT scans to come back as normal. This does not mean there is no injury.
  • Symptoms are not always present right after the injury. They can become apparent hours or even days after the injury.
  • The recovery period for each person is different, and it is important to create the best possible environment to heal.
  • People who try to tough it out only prolong recovery times.
  • The recovery process is uneven. You can have a day where you feel almost 100% better, then have a day where you feel like you did right after the injury.


Common symptoms that can occur include:

  • Physical Headache, Nausea/Vomiting, Tinnitus , Blurred Vision, Sensitivity to Light
  • Behavioral Irritability, Depression/Anxiety, Impulsivity, Lack of Initiation, Impaired Awareness
  • Cognitive Attention, Word Finding, and Memory Problems, Difficulty Filtering Noise, Trouble Focusing
  • Sleep/Rest Drowsiness, Excessive Sleep, Insomnia, Altered Sleep Patterns


Towards the end of the day, a person can feel exhausted physically and cognitively and may become more irritable and more easily frustrated. Other symptoms, like headache, may also appear or worsen.

Some things become more important during recovery:

  • Get enough sleep

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Memory Loss Cause # 2 Over

Self-medicating with alcohol, cigarettes, and also various other materials can influence our memory. Every added medication better makes complex a potentially toxic cocktail, particularly if you additionally drink alcohol.

Why am I taking this medication?What details times do I need to take it?Do I need to consume or consume alcohol when taking this?How much time can I anticipate this medicine to begin working?Will this engage with any of my various other medicines?Can I drive when I take this?What does as required imply?What should I do if I neglect a dose?What negative effects can I anticipate?Will I be able to take my regular vitamins with this medicine?

Why Is This Research Important

Do You Have Memory Loss From Your Concussion?

This research is important because mTBIs should be taken seriously. Right now there is no blood test or brain scan that can reliably detect an mTBI. mTBIs require medical attention, and mTBI sufferers should follow the medical advice of their doctors. Brain injuries need time to heal and we need to learn more about how to help people recover. Researchers must continue to study what is happening to the brain after an mTBI. For example, our group wants to find out why some people with a history of mTBI do not show impairments in working memory. Maybe this information will help us to find ways to help those patients who do have working memory problems, so that all mTBI survivors can return to a normal working memory capacity.

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Available Memory Loss Treatments

Treatment plans following an auto accident are unique for each patient. At Florida Physical Medicine, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

For individuals with minor injuries, memories may begin to return and heal on their own. For more complicated cases, detailed testing is available. Medications and therapy may be necessary to help recover memories and help the patient live life to the fullest.

Your injuries after an auto accident are unique. Let our doctors develop an individualized treatment plan especially for you.

Can You Have Permanent Memory Loss From A Concussion

Without treatment, recurring memory problems from a concussion can be permanent. But via active rehabilitation, patients can make great strides in recovering their normal ability to retain short- and long-term memories.

For more information about treatment options, see our post on post-concussion syndrome treatment.

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The Need For Early Cte Diagnosis

Repeated head trauma doesnt always lead to CTE and it is likely a persons genetic background also plays a role. Currently, the only way to diagnose CTE is post-mortem, which means its impossible to determine how prevalent the condition is in the general population or catch the condition at an early stage.

The next challenge for researchers is to develop techniques that can identify CTE in living brains. QBIs Dr Fatima Nasrallah is using the support of a Motor Accident Insurance Commission Senior Research Fellowship to work on TBI, specifically to try and develop an early diagnostic test for concussion. She hopes to use biomarkers and imaging to develop a test that will be able to detect even subtle changes in brain function following a head injury.

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