Short Term Memory Loss Disorder

Written by eric dontigney
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Short Term Memory Loss Disorder
Short term memory loss disorders affect the brain. (Image by, courtesy of Andrew Mason)

Short term memory loss disorder or anterograde amnesia is a condition in which the brain is no longer able to convert short-term memories into long-term memories. The condition affects episodic memory (personal experiences) more than procedural memory (muscle memory).

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Anterograde amnesia is brought on by damage to the brain. This can result from head trauma, strokes, infections, and seizures.


The Mayo Clinic reports that diagnosis for this type of short term memory disorder typically includes taking a medical history, physical exam, cognitive testing, and imaging scans of the brain (CT Scan, MRI). These tests are performed to help rule out other causes.


The principle symptom is the inability to generate new, long-term memories from events that occur after the damage to the brain. Long term memories formed prior to the damage are typically unaffected.

Memory Duration

The impact of anterograde amnesia on the duration of short-term memory retention varies from case to case. The total time of retention may be a matter of a few minutes or it could last for a number of hours.


There are relatively few treatment options available for anterograde amnesia. The Mayo Clinic reports that technological aids such as PDAs and occupational therapy can be helpful.

Long Term

Amnesia conditions can spontaneously begin to resolve themselves, but anterograde amnesia can be a permanent condition.

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