What are short-term memory lapses

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What are short-term memory lapses

At the moment of loss of short-term memory, a person begins to forget what happened to him several minutes, hours, days or months ago. At the same time, the patient can remember who he is and is also able to recover some of the events that happened to him several years ago.

Types of memory

Short-term (active) memory is responsible for storing information that a person is currently thinking about, or events in which he is aware. All recent sensations and actions are stored in a special section of the brain – the prefrontal cortex. Active memory can store data about events that occurred both a few seconds ago and months earlier.

Access to the short-term storage of information is performed by the brain much faster than to the section responsible for long-term memory. However, the resources of the nervous system responsible for processing data in the area of ​​the prefrontal cortex are significantly limited. Therefore, long-term memory is much larger and may contain information such as some facts, personal memories and the names of people you met in the past.

Causes of Violations

Memory lapses can be caused by excessive consumption of drugs or alcohol. The loss of ability to recall recent events is associated with concussions and other head injuries. Epilepsy, seizures, depression, repeated heart surgery can also affect brain activity. Some mental illnesses, such as dementia, can cause a functional disorder. Other causes include Alzheimer’s disease, the presence of cancerous tumors, chronic fatigue syndrome, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, encephalopathy, prosopagnosia, fibromyalgia, etc.


Treatment for memory impairment can be prescribed in accordance with the disease that caused the failure. You should seek medical help if you experience problems remembering the latest phenomena, stop reporting on what is happening to you and quickly forget what just happened to you. Lack of an appropriate diagnosis and appropriate treatment can cause a worsening of the condition and symptoms of an existing disorder. Pathological processes that cause memory loss can be accompanied by a number of other noticeable ailments that relate to both behavior and general health. Incorrectly selected therapy can lead to a deterioration of amnesia and the irreversibility of the ongoing degenerative changes. To diagnose brain lesions, various tomographic and radiological examinations (for example, MRI) can be prescribed, which in most cases reveal the existing problem.

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