What is Short Term Memory Loss?

Short term memory loss is an impaired ability to form new episodic memories. Episodic memories are central to one’s personal experience:

    – What you had for breakfast yesterday

    – Where you parked your car last night

    – Recalling details from a conversation you had 10 minutes ago

    – Remembering to take a new medication, prescribed yesterday

Short term memory loss can have a substantial and negative impact on a person’s quality of life. The inability to form any new episodic memories renders a person to live in a perpetual “now” state, where new events are never encoded for later recall.

Causes of Short Term Memory Loss

The causes of short term memory loss can be quite varied, ranging from neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, side effects of certain medications, to brain injuries such as stroke or concussion. See this list of memory loss causes for more detail.

Want to test your short term memory performance? Try this memory test challenge.

Concerned about the possibility of memory loss symptoms in someone close to you? Use the Memory Loss Checklist, a free tool for family, friends, and caregivers.

Next: Types of Memory Loss – Amnesia Definitions