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How do you test short term memory loss?

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Quick Answer

Short-term memory loss can be tested by asking the individual questions, analyzing medical history, and by performing cognitive testing, blood tests, CT or MRI scans and a cerebral angiography, notes LiveScience. Depending on the results of the test, the patient may be advised to see a psychologist or therapist.

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An individual who experiences short-term memory loss may be able to recall events that happened several years ago but not events that occurred several seconds ago, says LiveScience. Such memory loss can be the result of an injury, outside influences or certain medical conditions. Additional causes include a lack of oxygen to the brain, alcohol and drug use, epilepsy and having a traumatic experience.

Short-term memory can be improved by associating a phrase, image or word with a specific object, reading, writing down a series of objects from memory in 30 seconds, and engaging the brain in stimulating activities, puzzles and games, notes LiveScience. Short-term memory is also known as primary and active memory and includes sensory data and recent events that occur anywhere from 30 seconds to several days previously. The brain has a limited ability to store short-term memories sufficiently since they do not have to be recalled as much as long-term memories. Long-term memories include the names of old classmates, facts and personal recollections.

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