“Where Did I Put That Thing?” Short- Term Memory Loss

Ever had a moment where you put something down, leave the room and can’t remember where was the last place you saw it? What about going to another part of your home and forgetting why you went there in the first place? How about you set down your first cup of Cafe Bustelo, attend a phone call and then can’t recollect where you set down your mug? (So in my mother’s case you don’t stress it and make a second cup).

Believe it or not if this happens to you often, you are dealing with short-term memory loss. That mental issue Dory has in “Finding Nemo” is real and can stress you out.

Dory-blog
(Photo from Google Images)

According to an article from Livescience.com those who go through short- term memory loss “can recall incidents from 20 years ago, but cannot remember what they did 20 minutes prior”. Sounds familiar? Causes include head injuries, alcohol or drug abuse, concussions, seizures, epilepsy, heart bypass surgery, depression dementia, or witnessing a traumatic event such as an accident or violent crime. Web MD also says sleep deprivation, stress, nutritional deficiency, or a stroke can contribute to short-term memory loss.

So what can we do about this problem? LiveScience.com suggests a method called mnemonics which is “a technique of attaching a word, phrase or image to an object.” For example when I attended elementary school I remembered the nine planets (back then Pluto was a planet before NASA downgraded it to a moon) as My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. Image example could be seeing the two golden arches and recognizing its a McDonlads’s restaurant. Another way to help with short- term memory loss is placing a number of objects on a table, giving yourself 30 seconds to memorize the objects, removing the objects and writing down what you remember. Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and reading books is also recommended.

I also tried the website Luminosity. Luminosity has users test their brain’s skills with speed, memory, and thought processing by playing games. I played three of the games and my ranking came out as followed:

  • Speed: 30%
  • Thought Processing: 4%
  • Memory: 4%

Now this is compared to other users on the site who had done the same activities so that Luminosity can create a brain training program for you. As entertaining as the games I played were, you have to pay a monthly or annual fee to unlock the other activities. I was also told by a different reliable source that Luminosity does not improve your brain function so do not bother paying the fee.

Sources

Web MDhttp://www.webmd.com/brain/memory-loss

Live Science: Zimmermann, Kim Ann. “What is Short-Term Memory Loss?” LiveScience.com. 28 Jan. 2014. Web. 22 June. 2015. http://www.livescience.com/42891-short-term-memory-loss.html

Luminosity: http://www.lumosity.com/

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