Posts Tagged Short Term Memory
Most of the time, this is simply a sign that a person is a bit too busy or is preoccupied. On the other hand, having a consistently poor memory can be problematic for someone.
Many factors play a role in memory loss, including genetics, age, and medical conditions that affect the brain. There are also some manageable risk factors for memory loss, such as diet and lifestyle.
While not all memory loss is preventable, people may be able to take measures to protect the brain against cognitive decline as they age.
In this article, learn about eight techniques to try to help improve your memory.
1. Do brain training
A large trial from the journal PLoS One found that people who did just 15 minutes of brain training activities at least 5 days a week had improvements in brain function.
The participants’ working memory, short term memory, and problem solving skills all significantly improved when researchers compared them to a control group doing crossword puzzles.
The researchers used brain training activities from the website Lumosity. The challenges work on a person’s ability to recall details and quickly memorize patterns.
Physical exercise has a direct impact on brain health. As the author of research in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation notes, regular exercise reduces the risk of cognitive decline with age and protects the brain against degeneration.
Aerobic exercise increases a person’s heart rate and can include any of these activities:
Mindfulness meditation may help improve memory. The authors of a 2018 research paper note that many studies show meditation improves brain function, reduces markers of brain degeneration, and improves both working memory and long term memory.
The researchers observed the brains of people who regularly practiced meditation and those who did not.
Their results indicated that making a habit of meditating may cause long term changes in the brain, including increasing brain plasticity, which helps keep it healthy.
4. Get enough sleep
Sleep is vital for overall brain health. Disrupting the body’s natural sleep cycle can lead to cognitive impairments, as this interrupts the processes the brain uses to create memories.
Getting a full night’s rest, typically about 7–9 hours a night for an adult, helps the brain create and store long term memories.
5. Reduce sugar intake
Sugary foods can taste delicious and feel rewarding at first, but they may play a role in memory loss. Research from 2017 in animal models noted that a diet high in sugary drinks has a link to Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers also found that drinking too many sugary drinks, including fruit juice, may have a connection a lower total brain volume, which is an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
Avoiding extra sugar may help combat this risk. While naturally sweet foods, such as fruits, are a good addition to a healthful diet, people can avoid drinks sweetened with sugar and foods with added, processed sugars.
6. Avoid high calorie diets
Along with cutting out sources of excess sugar, reducing overall caloric intake may also help protect the brain.
Female participants with an average age of 60.5 years reduced their calorie intake by 30%. The researchers found that they had a significant improvement in verbal memory scores and that the benefit was most significant in those who stuck to the diet best.
7. Increase caffeine intake
The authors of a 2014 study found that consuming caffeine after a memory test boosted how well participants’ brain stored memories long term.
People who took 200 milligrams of caffeine scored better on recall tests after 24 hours than people who did not take caffeine.
Caffeine may also boost memory in the short term. A study in Frontiers in Psychology found that young adults who took caffeine in the morning had improved short term memory.
This insight might be useful for individuals who have to take tests or recall information during a time of day when they may otherwise be tired.
8. Eat dark chocolate
Eating dark chocolate sounds like an indulgence, but it may also improve a person’s memory. The results of a 2011 study suggest that cocoa flavonoids, which are the active compounds in chocolate, help boost brain function.
People who ate dark chocolate performed better on spatial memory tests than those who did not. The researchers noted that cocoa flavonoids improved the blood flow to the brain.
With that said, it is important not to add more sugar to the diet, and so people should aim for at least 72% cacao content in dark chocolate and avoid chocolate with added sugar.
Risk factors for memory impairment
There are risk factors a person has no control over, such as genetics. Some people may be more predisposed to conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, which greatly affect the brain and memory.
In other cases, a person may be able to reduce the risk of memory impairment. Eating a diet high in refined sugar and fats and leading a sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of memory loss.
Eating a rounded, healthful diet and exercising regularly may contribute to keeping the mind sharp and reduce memory loss.
Many techniques for improving memory can be beneficial for a person’s overall health and well-being. For example, practicing mindfulness meditation may not only make a person less forgetful but can also reduce stress.
Even adding one or two memory boosting practices to a person’s daily routine may help them keep their brain healthy and protect it from memory loss.
[ARTICLE] Effects of neurofeedback on the short-term memory and continuous attention of patients with moderate traumatic brain injury: A preliminary randomized controlled clinical trial – Full Text
There are some studies which showed neurofeedback therapy (NFT) can be effective in clients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) history. However, randomized controlled clinical trials are still needed for evaluation of this treatment as a standard option. This preliminary study was aimed to evaluate the effect of NFT on continuous attention (CA) and short-term memory (STM) of clients with moderate TBI using a randomized controlled clinical trial (RCT).
In this preliminary RCT, seventeen eligible patients with moderate TBI were randomly allocated in two intervention and control groups. All the patients were evaluated for CA and STM using the visual continuous attention test and Wechsler memory scale-4th edition (WMS-IV) test, respectively, both at the time of inclusion to the project and four weeks later. The intervention group participated in 20 sessions of NFT through the first four weeks. Conversely, the control group participated in the same NF sessions from the fifth week to eighth week of the project.
Eight subjects in the intervention group and five subjects in the control group completed the study. The mean and standard deviation of participants’ age were (26.75±15.16) years and (27.60±8.17) years in experiment and control groups, respectively. All of the subjects were male. No significant improvement was observed in any variables of the visual continuous attention test and WMS-IV test between two groups (p≥0.05).
Based on our literature review, it seems that our study is the only study performed on the effect of NFT on TBI patients with control group. NFT has no effect on CA and STM in patients with moderate TBI. More RCTs with large sample sizes, more sessions of treatment, longer time of follow-up and different protocols are recommended.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) means an injury to the brain that is caused by an external physical force. It is well known that TBI is an important cause of mortality and morbidity and it is reported that each year about 1.7 million people sustain a TBI in USA. Some of them die (about 50,000) and some other experience long-term disability (80,000 to 90,000).1; 2 ; 3 The severity of TBI can be categorized based on the Glasgow comma scale (GCS) at the time of injury as follows: mild (13-15), moderate (9-12) and severe (<9).4 TBI usually affect the brain function such as cognitive status, executive function, memory, data processing, language skills and attention.5 It has heterogeneous aspects and based on the injury location and type. It can have different presentations. Hence it is considered as a difficult one to treat.6
The brain plasticity could help it in rehabilitation phase to restore its normal function after any trauma or disease. But the amount of this ability is poorly understood. Some studies approved that neurofeedback therapy (NFT) can promote neuroplasticity.7 In the method of neurofeedback (NF), as a non-pharmacological intervention, the feedback to brain waves which are representative of subconscious neural activity can be observed by the client and then he/she will be able to control and change them.8 ; 9 There are some evidences that show NFT can be useful in some other diseases like Obsessive-compulsive disorder,10 attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder11 and also refractory epilepsy.12 There are also some published studies about the effect of NFT on patients with TBI. Surmeli in 2007 investigated the effect of NFT on 24 patients with mild TBI and reported that NFT can result in significant improvement in test of variables of attention, beck depression inventory and minnesota multiphasic personality inventory.13 In a study in 2014, with evaluation of two patients with moderate head injury and without control group, it is reported that electroencephalogram biofeedback can lead to increase the cognitive scores and improve the concussion symptoms and finally concluded that NFT can be effective on the changes in the structural and functional connectivity among patients with moderate TBI.14
Although these published papers reported a positive effect of NFT on the TBI patients, we have not enough data about the standard treatment protocol with NF, and literature still needs more original studies like randomized controlled clinical trial to suggest NF as a treatment option among patients with TBI regarding the two following functions of cognitive status: short-term memory (STM) and continuous attention (CA).6
In this preliminary study, we tried to evaluate the effect of NFT on CA and STM of patients with moderate TBI using a randomized controlled clinical trial. […]
Based on Research by TBI Model Systems
- Memory problems are very common in people with moderate to severe TBI.
- TBI can damage parts of the brain that handle learning and remembering.
- TBI affects short-term memory more than long-term memory.
- People with TBI may have a tough time “remembering to remember. ”This means remembering to do things in the future, such as keeping appointments or calling someone back when you’ve promised to do so.
- People with moderate to severe TBI may not remember the incident surrounding the injury.
- With the help of certain strategies, people with TBI can learn to work around memory problems and get things done every day.
“Memory” isn’t just one kind of ability. There are several kinds of memory, and TBI affects some more than others.
TBI-related memory problems don’t work the way you might see “amnesia” portrayed on TV. You don’t forget everything from your past and remember what happens going forward. In fact, you’re more likely to remember things from the past, including much of what you learned in school. This is known as long-term memory. However, after a TBI, you may have trouble learning and remembering new information, recent events, or what’s happening from day to day. This is known as short-term memory. Here are some short-term memory problems that are common in people with TBI:
- Forgetting important details of a conversation, such as remembering to pass along a phone message
- Forgetting where you left things, like keys, a cell phone, or a planner
- Feeling unsure of what you did or said this morning, yesterday, or last week; this can lead you to say things or ask the same questions many times
- Losing track of time or feeling unsure of what day it is
- Being unable to retrace a route you took earlier in the day or week
- Forgetting all or part of what you read in a book or what you saw in a movie
TBI may also affect prospective memory, or “remembering to remember.” This means remembering plans and intentions long enough to act on them. Here are some prospective memory problems that are common in people with moderate to severe TBI:
- Forgetting to keep appointments or showing up at the wrong times
- Telling someone you will call or visit at a certain time, then forgetting to do so
- Forgetting what you were supposed to do or intended to do at home, work, or school or in the community
- Forgetting important occasions, such as birthdays, holidays, and family events
- Forgetting to take medicines at the right time
- Forgetting to pick up children at a certain time
Although TBI affects new memories more than old ones, people with TBI may have trouble retrieving the correct information when needed. For example, you may recognize your aunt and know who she is, but have trouble remembering her name. Or you may be able to define all the words on a vocabulary test, but have trouble remembering the exact word when you’re talking.
People with TBI may not remember the injury itself. In this case, the brain has not stored the injury as a memory or series of memories.
People may remain confused and unable to store memories for some time after the injury. The loss of memory from the moment of TBI onward is called post-traumatic amnesia. It can last from a few minutes to several weeks or months, depending on the severity of brain injury.
If you can’t remember the events of your TBI, you likely never will. That’s because your brain did not store those memories. The best way to learn about the injury is to ask family members, friends, or medical personnel who may have objective information.
After a moderate to severe TBI, you may have more trouble remembering things from day to day. Research has found very few ways to restore the brain’s natural ability to learn and remember. One or two medicines may be worth trying (ask your doctor). But “brain training” programs and memory drills don’t really help.
Using compensatory strategies is the best way to tackle memory problems and still get things done. This approach uses memory devices that we all use to make up for limited memory storage in the brain (e.g., a grocery list, address book, notepad, or alarm on a cell phone).
Some people think that these methods weaken memories. But that’s not true. When you write down information or enter it into a phone or computer, you may actually strengthen the memory trace in your brain, and the information will always be available for you if you need it.
Here are some compensatory strategies to help work around memory difficulties:
- Get rid of distractions before starting on something that you want to remember.
- Ask people to talk slower or repeat what they said to make sure you understand it.
- Give yourself extra time to practice, repeat, or rehearse information you need to remember.
- Use organizers, notebooks, or a cell phone calendar or “apps” to keep track of important information, such as appointments, to-do lists, and telephone numbers.
- Keep all items that you need to take with you (e.g., wallet, keys, and phone) in a “memory station” at home—like a table by the door or a special section of the counter.
- Use a pill box to keep track of and take your medicines accurately.
- Use checklists to keep track of what you’ve done or different steps in an activity. For example, make a checklist of bills that you need to pay each month and the dates on which they are due.
Having memory problems after TBI may make it harder for you to remember to use some of these strategies. At first, ask a family member or friend to remind you of these strategies. Over time, the strategies will become a habit, and you can use them on your own.
Memory problems can make it especially difficult for people with moderate to severe TBI to succeed in school, or to perform well in jobs that demand a lot of learning and memory. College students can contact the Disability Supports Services office at their school to receive assistance with note-taking and other services to support learning. The Vocational Rehabilitation services available in every state may be able to supply job coaching or counseling to assist workers who need memory supports, and may provide additional help to college students.
Memory and Traumatic Brain Injury was developed by Tessa Hart, Ph.D., and Angelle Sander, Ph.D., in collaboration with the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center. Portions of the material were adapted from educational materials developed by Angelle Sander, Laura Van Veldhoven, and Tessa Hart for the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developing Strategies to Foster Community Integration and Participation for Individuals With TBI (National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research [NIDILRR] grant no. 90DP0028).
Our health information content is based on research evidence and/or professional consensus and has been reviewed and approved by an editorial team of experts from the Traumatic Brain Injury Model System.
This information is not meant to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should consult your health care provider regarding specific medical concerns or treatment. The contents of this fact sheet were developed under grants from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research [NIDILRR](grant numbers 90DP0012, 90DP0037 [PI: Hart], 90RT5007 [PI: Sander], 90DP0028 [PI: Sherer], and 90DP0060 [PI:Arciniegas]). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this fact sheet do not necessarily represent the policy of Department of Health and Human Services, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.
Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC). May be reproduced and distributed freely with appropriate attribution. Prior permission must be obtained for inclusion in fee-based materials.
The first type of memory is our very short lived and very fragile sensory store (Short Information Store, SIS). It is the afterimage when seeing something, it is the aftersound when hearing something, it stays in your mind for just a couple of seconds at the most.
A second type of our storage system is our Working Memory (WM). It used to be called Short Term Memory (STM). It lasts for only a couple of seconds to roughly a minute. It is also fragile and it can roughly store 7 ± 2 units of information, whether that is a word, a sound, numbers or images. On my page about Attention: what is it I will explain why this Working Memory actually is Attention. The description ‘Working’ refers to the fact that this is the short term storage where information is being worked on in order to store it more permanently in our Long Term Store (LTM).Very important to remember is that this WM capacity is NOT fixed: it changes every second due to our bio-dynamical brain system.
Our third type of storage is the Long Term Memory (LTM): it can last for years and its capacity seems unlimited (in reality it is nót unlimited of course). It takes hours till a couple of days to form a reliable LTM of something and that is largely a biochemical process called Long term potentiation or the Consolidation process. Usually, repeating the same information several times and having nights of sleep between repetitions is most desirable to form solid LTM.