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Memory Changes

Memory is the process of retrieving or recalling the information stored in the brain when needed. Memory also involves the processing and encoding of information from the environment and placing it in the memory centers of the brain. Some types of memory include intermediate memory, short-term memory and long-term memory.

Injury to the brain from a stroke may result in a memory disorder. These memory disorders are complicated as they affect each person differently. Since everyone forgets, or learns slowly from time to time, many people have a difficult time telling the difference between a 'normal' memory lapse and a memory disorder. When a person acquires a memory disorder from a stroke, they have many more memory failures than a person with a normal memory.

Degree and type of memory disorders is dependant upon the amount and location of brain damage caused by the stroke. Due to the complexity of memory and memory disorders, it is important to stroke survivors with suspected memory problems to receive an evaluation of their memory.

Treatment for memory problems initially centers around improving particular skills, such as attention, discrimination and organization, which may be affecting memory. Once these skills improve, therapy can be directed toward the use of strategies such as rehearsal, visual imagery association and chunking to improve memory.

Recovery from memory problems depends upon the initial severity of the stroke, the location of the stroke in the brain, and the survivor's awareness of the problem. It is not uncommon for memory problems to persist.

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