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Understanding memory loss after a traumatic brain injury

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2023 | Personal Injury |

One of the most frightening symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be memory loss (amnesia). A person may be unable to recall long stretches of time or have selective gaps in their memory. 

If the amnesia is caused by swelling in the brain, the condition often improves as that swelling goes down. However, some memories may never return.

Post-traumatic amnesia

There are two primary types of post-traumatic amnesia, which may result from a TBI. The two types are anterograde and retrograde amnesia. Anterograde amnesia affects the memory of what occurred after the injury – for example, the ambulance ride to the hospital and the initial days of recovery. Retrograde amnesia affects the memory of the time leading up to the injury – typically the moments just before it.

For example, singer Amy Grant, who was unconscious for about ten minutes after she fell off her bike in 2022, has described what appears to be both types of amnesia. She says she still has no memory of how she fell off the bike or of the days she spent in the hospital afterward. She has also struggled with other memory issues, such as being able to remember people’s names. Grant says she started a journal (“Writing to Remember”) to try to get some lost memories back.

Don’t let your memory loss affect your ability to get financial compensation

If you are suffering from memory loss due to a TBI that was caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s best not to try to recount what you believe happened to an insurance company or anyone representing the at-fault party if you are not certain. Don’t let anyone who is not on your side try to tell you what happened.

Any kind of TBI — mild or severe — could mean that you have to take time away from work, school or other responsibilities. When pursuing financial compensation through a personal injury claim, it is crucial to take into account the full extent of your injury and how it affects your life now and in the future. In these matters, it is wise to seek legal guidance as soon as possible.