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Short term memory problem

Q: My brother who is just 28 years old had an aneurysm on 5th of February 2002. He was in the USA at that time. He underwent Coil Treatment in Thomas Jefferson Hospital. He had a shunt too. He was very sick. He was in the hospital for 2 months and then he went to the Rehabilitation from there for 2 months. Now he has come back to India. He has very severe short term memory problems. There in the USA doctors told there is no medicine for that. He might get it back after some time. Now it is almost 5 months and still he has the same problem. He is fine in other aspects like walking, eating, etc. Will he overcome this problem?

A:Much will depend on the extent of permanent damage done to the part of the brain that serves memory. In medical parlance this region is called the limbic system and an important part of it resides in the temporal regions. I suggest you get your brother examined by a good neurologist in your area. A Magnetic Resonance scan (MR) may be indicated to study the different components of the limbic system (I assume that the stent inserted is not affected by magnetic fields). A careful analysis of the clinical features and the MR may help your neurologist to indicate whether or not the defect in memory will persist. In the meanwhile, you can try and help him regain his ability to remember by getting him to do tasks that require recall just as we do with little children. It is surprising how much can be achieved by hard work and persistence.

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