Is Sudden Memory Loss a Symptom of Traumatic Brain Injury?

Question: 

My boyfriend sustained a TBI at age 16 and now, at 25, he still struggles with sudden memory loss. He will wake up in the middle of the night and completely forget where he is and who he is. This causes him to start to panic, but eventually he will remember everything. This has also happened to him when driving. This sudden memory loss happens about twice a month. How can I help him?

Answer: 

The sudden intermittent memory loss you describe is not typical of a traumatic brain injury. Memory loss following brain injury is usually for events immediately before or following the incident. Difficulty learning and remembering new information is also common. The individual with TBI does not typically continue to forget who or where he or she is.

There are any number of potential reasons for the symptoms you describe, ranging from stress, fatigue, or medication reactions to transient global amnesia, seizures, or stroke — with other possible causes in between. I strongly suggest that your boyfriend be seen by a physician and/or neurologist for a thorough evaluation, particularly since these episodes are occurring with some regularity.

Posted on BrainLine January 26, 2012.

Comments (3)

My brother suffered a head injury 7 months ago when he was beaten with a bat in the head. Upon discharge, the doctor said he had a small brain bleed but it was fine. Now he has trouble remember things from day to day. He uses loses his keys and doesn't remember what day it is.

23 years post MBA I still suffer from; chronic pain, nausea, memory loss, balance loss, sudden loss of who I am, where I am, anger, sadness, thoughts of being dead, etc..

I am at a loss because I try to learn how not to forget but I still forget 10 minutes later and I am so sad.