Short Term Memory Loss Vs. Long Term Memory Loss

Short Term Memory Loss Versus Long Term Memory Loss

There are noticeable differences between short-term memory loss versus long term memory loss. To understand how they differ, you need to first know what memory means.

Just like a computer, your brain compiles data or memories. These memories consist of our childhood, our teenage years and our adulthood. In that data are the places we’ve lived, the pets we’ve had, the friends we’ve known.

Along with that personal data, we store in our brains data pertaining to other people, too. Our friends’ birthdays, their likes and dislikes, our work related memories – meetings, parties, projects completed and waiting to be completed. The brain then holds onto all of this data. Things that inspire us or mean a lot to us are usually easier for us to retrieve.

When we want to get to the data, just like a computer, we search our memory and the brain gives us the desired information. Whether the information is considered short or long term memory depends on where the information is kept in the brain, because we don’t keep all of the information we gather in the same part of the brain.

When someone experiences short term loss, it means that they can’t retrieve information about the present, but can remember events or places, facts or people from the past. This type of loss is often considered mild and more of a nuisance than an indication of a serious disorder.

Between short-term memory loss and long-term memory loss, the latter can be the most difficult to handle for those suffering from it and for the friends and family who must deal with the consequences of it in the people they care about.

This type of memory loss means that a person struggles to recall past memories. Between the two types of memory loss (short or long), long is the one that people find the toughest to handle. People and events that have been part of cherished memories for years suddenly have no significance to this person.

There are some similarities between the two types of memory loss. When dealing with short term, the significance of the loss can range from mild to severe - just as it can in long term. In both, the timeline of the inability to recall memories can last anywhere from moments to years.

In most cases however, the major difference between those who have short-term memory loss versus long-term memory loss is that some short-term memory loss is recoverable while many long term is not. The outcome depends on the cause of the memory loss and the treatment for the loss.

Which Memory Loss is Worse

I began to worry a bit about this issue for myself a few years ago, when I noticed that I was losing my word recall. In my business, where words can carry so much emotional freight, quickly recalling a word that is an accurate description of my client's current situation, but one that carries a different emotional connotation can be critical to progress.

Losing that skill, or worrying about losing that skill led me to some research of my own, and I discovered some very interesting information about neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, which are the words used to describe how the brain creates new connections when we learn something (neuroplasticity) and how the brain grows new neurons daily (neurogenesis). The information about neurogenesis is a very recent discovery, and perhaps the best part of that discovery is that we can prepare the soil, so to speak, by taking care of what lots of folks call 'the pillars of brain fitness', which are physical exercise, getting good nutrition including lots of omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants, getting good sleep, stress management, and engaging in novel learning experiences.

The novel learning experiences pillar usually refers to the kind of learning we engage in when we learn a new language or learn a new instrument, but there are also some commercial programs we can engage in that provide useful novel learning experience for our brains.

The one that made the most difference for my word recall was the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program, and two other programs that I really enjoy are Lumosity and Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro.

I use them on my PC, but you can even get phone apps for some of them now. A link to Mind Sparke is just below. 

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Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro - Software that makes you smarter

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