What would it be like to lose your memory?

As we prepare for Memory Week at Marbles, we are thinking a lot about how valuable memory is. Typically, we don’t take the time to consider the value of something until we start to lose it. A story I read recently in the Washington Post caught my attention. A few months ago, Dave Ochs experienced a loss of memory for six hours, which can be best described as transient global amnesia, a condition scientists do not yet fully understand. In many ways, it seems the event was far more frightening to Dave’s wife Carol. For Dave, it is more of an absence: “In my case, it’s not that a page of my life is blank. It’s that the page isn’t even there. It’s the closest I’ve come to understanding the concept of nothingness.” While episodes are rare, transient global amnesia and Dave’s episode reminded me of how fragile memory can be. Though disturbing, luckily these events are unlikely to repeat themselves.

My Stroke of Insight

My Stroke of Insight

In a deeply personal account of a more permanent and global loss of brain function, neurologist Jill Bolte Taylor’s book My Stroke of Insight describes her experiences regaining brain function following a burst blood vessel in her brain. This book not only makes sense for those trying to regain loss of brain function, it is a terrific read for those trying to preserve brain function as well.

Want to learn more about memory? Want to know what you can do to prevent more serious conditions that can lead to permanent memory loss? Then join us for Memory Week at Marbles next week. We kick off Monday with free memory screenings at all three Marbles locations.

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