Memory loss: A Campaign to Remember

Action for Brain  Injury Week 2020 28 September – 4 October aims to raise awareness of the ways in which memory problems can affect brain injury survivors and their families.

 

It explores the impact of memory on relationships, recovery and returning to work.

Memory problems after a brain injury can be life changing and are very different from the usual, everyday memory frustrations many of us experience. They can make a survivor feel alone, angry and confused and can impact every aspect of their life.

 

A recent study by the national charity Headway – the brain injury association found that 72% of brain injury survivors feel that the people in their life don’t understand their memory problems, with 81% reporting that their life would be improved if people had a better understanding of this complex condition.

Animation: Memory loss after brain injury

This animation Memory loss after brain injury animation was produced in response to the findings of the UK -wide survey, and aims to raise awareness of this complex effect of brain injury.

 

It tells the story of Tony, a father who sustained a brain injury in a car accident. After waking from a coma, he didn’t recognise his family and closest friends.

Survey results: The impact of memory problems on people with brain injuries

poster with percentages

In January 2020, we launched a survey into the effects of memory loss, to be completed by brain injury survivors or their family members and carers acting on their behalf. 

The results are striking, with 85% of survivors experiencing a negative impact on their lives and 65% feeling that their personal relationships have been negatively affected as a result of their memory problems.

 

poster in support of memory loss
poster with different statistics
side profile of a person

Coping with memory problems

Memory is easily affected by brain injury because there are several structures within the brain that are involved in memory, and injury to any of these parts can impair memory performance.

As remembering involves the stages of taking in information, storing it adequately and retrieving it when needed, injury to those parts of the brain responsible for these stages can lead to poor memory.

People with brain injuries often achieve some recovery over a
long period, and so memory problems may improve over time. It should be made clear, however, that no magic solutions exist
to get memory back or to regain damaged memory.

 

There is, to date, no drug or treatment or exercise which will restore or even improve memory significantly. However, we can still do things to help people cope with their loss of memory and to manage their day-to-day lives.

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