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Can a crash leave you with memory loss?

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2020 | Car Accidents |

After getting into a crash, you could deal with difficult effects in the aftermath. Some last for hours or days while others can be lifetime affairs. One of the issues you may face involves memory loss.

But how does a crash impact your memory? And to what degree can your memory suffer due to this damage?

Why does short term memory suffer the most?

The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center examines memory loss after brain damage. First, different forms of memory get stored and processed in different areas of the brain. The medial temporal lobe processes long term memory. The frontal lobe stores short term memory, and it covers 15 to 30 second chunks of time. This is why short term memory tends to suffers the most after a crash: the frontal lobe often takes the most damage.

Short term memory loss can range vastly in severity. Some people may have trouble recalling small things for just a few days or weeks. For others, it is possible to experience extensive confusion and severe memory damage. You may not be able to recall things someone told you repeatedly. You might forget important appointment times and dates. If your brain has trouble coding short term into long term memory, you could struggle with routine chores like remembering to grocery shop or pick up medicine.

Losing memories of the crash

You may also “lose” your memory of the crash. This is common and may not represent the overall memory damage you face. In the initial accident, your brain might not store the memory to begin with. This has more to do with mental and physical trauma at the time your brain should have stored the memories. But it could still be cause for concern, and you may want to seek the aid of a medical professional.