Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can greatly change the life of a victim, and may leave them with vastly different cognitive abilities. One heavily affected ability is memory. TBIs can affect the parts of the brain responsible for learning and accessing stored memories, which can cause memory loss or difficulty forming new memories. Commonly, these differences are seen when a TBI victim struggles to “remember to remember” things in the future, such as making and keeping appointments or completing tasks.
How Do TBIs Affect Memory?
There is more than one type of memory, and some types may be affected more than others by an injury.
Long-Term & Short-Term Memory
These types of memory are the most widely known, and these are in charge of storing our lifetime memories as well as holding data temporarily for quick access. Long-term memory is generally far less affected by brain injuries, but short-term memory can be heavily impacted. Here are some common short-term memory issues faced by TBI sufferers:
- Forgetting important details of conversations, such as requests.
- Forgetting where you left objects.
- Feeling uncertain of your actions in recent history, such as questions you’ve asked or if you’ve eaten.
- Losing track of time or feeling unsure of the time.
- Being unable to retrace routes you’ve traveled recently.
- Forgetting all or parts of the plots of movies or books you’ve recently seen or read.
This is the type of memory in charge of “remembering to remember.” Prospective memory is responsible for remembering future plans and intentions to act on them. TBIs can affect old memories, but more often, they affect the ability to access the correct information.
Issues with prospective memory may include:
- Forgetting appointments or coming at the wrong time.
- Forgetting plans with friends.
- Forgetting what you intended to do at home, the store, school, or work.
- Forgetting important dates and occasions.
- Forgetting to take medications or to take them at the right time.
- Forgetting to pick children up at a certain time.
- Recognizing people but forgetting their names.
- Understanding the meanings of words, but being unable to recall the word to use in a sentence.
Memory of the Injury
It is possible that the injured person may have no memory of the injury itself. When this happens, it occurs because the brain has not stored the memory of the injury. It isn’t uncommon for TBI patients to remain confused and struggle to store new memories for some time after the injury. This is known as post-traumatic amnesia and this confusion can last from moments after the accident to several months, depending on the severity of the injury.
Get Help From Our Ventura Brain Injury Attorneys – (805) 434-6393
Catastrophic injuries, such as TBIs, can greatly change the life of a victim. If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident, our team at the Haffner Law Group can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Our Ventura personal injury lawyers have more than 50 years of collective experience, so you can trust that we have the skill and knowledge to effectively advocate for your best interests.