Differences Between Amnesia and Loss of Short-Run Memory

What is depicted in films about amnesia and short-term memory loss is often mistaken. Know what the two memory distractions are and the causes.

When a person experiences a short-term memory loss, he can still remember events from 20 years ago but his memory is blurred on the details of a recent 20-minute incident.


Short-term memory is information that a person thinks at the moment or he realizes. This memory is also referred to as active memory or basic memory. This memory is stored in the frontal lobe.

New events that we experience or sensory data such as sound will be stored in short-term memory. Basically everything we experience within 30 seconds to a few days is stored in short-term memory.

There are several causes of short-term memory loss, some due to medical conditions and also due to injury and other environmental influences.

Diseases that can affect the ability to remember is what happens in brain organs. One of them is brain anurism or swelling in the blood vessel wall of the brain. When the swelling breaks, it can cause bleeding around the brain.

Brain tumors will also affect memory. Cancer treatment, head trauma, brain infection, and stroke, can cause short-term memory impairment.

Lack of oxygen in the brain also results in the same. The use of alcohol and drugs, epilepsy, convulsions, cardiac surgery, and depression, is another cause of short-term memory loss.


Loss of short-term memory differs from amnesia. In the second condition a person will lose memory, such as facts, information, and experience.

In contrast to short-term memory that is temporary, amnesia can be permanent. Amnesia is not the same as we see in movies or soap operas, where people who experience it can not remember who he is.

Medically, the amnesia person still remembers who he is, but difficulties with short-term memory, can not learn new information or form new memories.

Amnesia usually occurs due to head trauma, drug poisoning, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, infections, even emotional shock.

There are several examinations done by the doctor to ascertain the type of memory loss experienced by the patient. In addition to blood tests and CT-scan or MRI examinations, your doctor will also provide cognitive tests to test the thinking and mental abilities of the patient.

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