A friend recently suffered a massive heart attack. There was loss of oxygen. There is memory loss. How long does it take to get short term memory back? It has been approximately 3 weeks since the heart attack. The friend seems to remember names and faces but can't remember much history about anyone. The short term memory doesn't seem to last over about 20 minutes.
[This message has been edited by williams (edited 05-28-2001).]
This is a very tough call because it depends on what kind of damage was done and the general health of the afflicted. Some people may not get their memory back for up to a year and some never get it back.
BUT,there are avenues for treatment. Sometimes, brain cells are only partially damaged. If the patient is given treatment in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, it can revive those damaged cells sometimes. Other patients have had success with a modified diet and stimulation. It has been discovered in recent years that thinking, at any age, develops new synapses, the fibers that link the brain cells, through which they communicate. Playing games like solitare or any game that stimulates memory can be helpful. Just talking with the afflicted can help. I like an electronic game called Simon. It's easy to use and has different levels of difficulty. The person can start slow and work their way up.
I also suggest that you look up the web site for the Brain Injury Association. They can be very helpful.
I represented many injured people with tramatic brain injuries. For the non-english
speaker, cognitive rehab. does not exist in this part of the country. However, my experience has been that almost all of those with head injuries also have neck
injuries, so they can get them physical therapy for the neck injury.
I have noticed that even though they are in need of cognitive rehab., physical therapy
can be very helpful. They have to wake up in time to go to therapy. They follow a schedule: to dress, shower, eat, travel.
They see the therapist and other patients and interact. I have noticed alot of improvement in many of my clients.
Talk radio is also very good.