ZocdocAnswersCan a concussion cause short term memory loss?

Question

Can a concussion cause short term memory loss?

I had a concussion followed by some short term memory loss. Is the memory loss just from the concussion or did I damage my brain somehow. I haven't noticed it and it is about a week later. Am I out of the woods or should I go to the doctor?

Answer

I'm sorry to hear that you had a recent concussion. This kind of injury can be very unnerving, given the side effects of such a trauma to the brain. Headache, confusion, fatigue, and some impairments in memory can be very normal following a brain injury. There is also a syndrome known as post-concussion syndrome in which patients can have a prolonged recovery period from their initial injury, sometimes with symptoms lasting for weeks to months or even a year. It sounds as though you are recovering well and not having any long-lasting sequelae from your original injury. However, it also sounds like you have not seen a physician in the context of your original injury, and you absolutely should see a physician for an evaluation right away. Even if you are completely fine and go on to have no residual side effects, a trauma to the brain that is significant enough to cause a concussion should always lead to an immediate follow-up with a physician to ensure that there are no other associated injuries. The kind of blow to the head that leads to a concussion can also cause a skull fracture or bleeding around the brain. Both of these are very serious and can even be fatal if not addressed promptly. In addition, it is always a good idea to have a serious injury well-documented as part of your medical record so that if there are any side effects down the road any physicians caring for you in future will know exactly what happened. It is great that you are feeling better and it sounds like you will likely go on to be just fine--however, you should definitely seek medical attention immediately to make sure that you don't need any additional monitoring.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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