Memory Loss After a Concussion

Have you been involved in an accident or suffered a blow to the head? If you have experienced memory loss, you may have suffered a concussion.

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) with symptoms that usually resolve within weeks, although some victims experience long-lasting consequences. Memory loss is one of the most common symptoms of a concussion.

Can a Concussion Cause Memory Loss?

Memory loss and impaired memory are common after a concussion. Many victims do not remember the accident that caused their concussion or what happened immediately before or after a blow to the head. Memory can also be affected for days, weeks, or even longer.

Why Does Memory Loss After a Concussion Happen?

A concussion affects memory by damaging the nerve cells or structures in the brain responsible for processing, storing, and retrieving memories. This damage includes physical trauma and chemical changes after a brain injury that changes how the brain functions.

The brain’s limbic system is responsible for processing and regulating emotions, behaviors, and memory. The limbic system in the cerebrum includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus.

For the brain to form long-term memory, it must encode information and complete a process called memory consolidation. This involves tracing the encoded information to strengthen and store it. This process takes days or even weeks as new information is linked to existing information in your memory. To use this information later, your brain must be able to retrieve memories by consciously recollecting encoded, consolidated information.

The brain uses many types of memory. Damage to any of these structures or processes can cause memory loss or impairment by preventing information from being encoded, consolidated, or retrieved.

How Does a Concussion Affect Memory?

You may be familiar with short-term and long-term memory. Short-term memory loss is an inability to recall limited, recent information. Long-term memory loss is an inability to recall memories from days or years before. There are many other types of memory, however.

A concussion can affect:

  • Working memory. A form of short-term memory, this is the limited information you keep in mind temporarily. It’s used for thinking, perception, language processing, decision-making, and reasoning.
  • Prospective memory. This is your ability to remember plans or intentions long enough to complete them. You can think of it as “remembering to remember” something.
  • Episodic memory. This is a type of long-term memory about events and experiences. It allows you to remember specific experiences like your first day of high school or your wedding day.
  • Spatial memory. This allows you to remember information related to location such as how to get somewhere, where something occurred, or where to find something.

A concussion can affect any of these forms of memory. Most people experience short-term memory loss, also known as anterograde amnesia. This can make it hard to learn new information without affecting memories before you hit your head. You may forget conversations minutes after they happened or lose track of time. It’s also common to experience forgetfulness, trouble storing new memories, and general confusion after a concussion.

This impaired memory after a concussion is often called “brain fog.” For most people, it resolves within a few weeks.

Immediately after a concussion, some people experience post-traumatic amnesia. This is a more heightened state of confusion, which may involve uncharacteristic behavior and even an inability to recognize people. It usually does not last long after a mild head injury.

How Long Does Memory Loss After a Concussion Last?

Every person is different, so there is no way to determine how long memory loss will last after a blow to the head. Most people find the brain fog after a concussion goes away within one to six weeks. For others, impaired memory and other symptoms can be long-lasting.

It does seem that memory impairment is more common and long-lasting than previously thought. In one study, people who had suffered a concussion scored 25% lower than healthy people on thinking and memory tests. A year after their injury, test scores were similar to the healthy group, but imaging tests still showed brain damage.

When concussion symptoms persist, it’s called post-concussive syndrome (PCS). It may last a year or longer.

What Causes Most Concussions?

A concussion can be the result of a blow to the head, but you can get a concussion without hitting your head. Sudden, violent movement of the head can cause the brain to strike the inside of the skull and cause trauma. This can happen in a car accident that causes rapid deceleration, for example.

The most common causes of concussions include:

There is no threshold of force necessary to cause a concussion. Every person is different. A blow that causes a concussion in one person may not cause a brain injury in another.

What Compensation Can I Recover for a Concussion In Destin, Florida?

If your concussion was caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional behavior, you can pursue compensation for your losses. Florida allows accident victims to recover economic and non-economic damages in a personal injury case.

Economic damages include financial losses you suffered. Non-economic damages include the psychological and emotional losses you sustained.

Types of damages available for a concussion injury include:

An experienced Destin personal injury lawyer can help you build the strongest case possible to pursue the full compensation you deserve.

How Long Do I Have To File a Concussion Lawsuit In Florida?

The Florida statute of limitations is two years from the date of your injury. This is the deadline to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. You will be barred from recovering any compensation if you do not file a personal injury lawsuit before this deadline.

It’s important to take action promptly to protect your claim. Waiting too long can allow evidence to be lost, which makes it hard to prove causation and hold the at-fault party accountable.

Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Have you suffered a concussion caused by someone else’s negligence? Whether you were hurt in a fall or a crash, you may be entitled to compensation. Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help you.

Since 1990, we have represented concussion victims in personal injury cases. We have recovered millions in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients.

Contact our law office for a free consultation with a Destin personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and how we can help you.