Intermittant Short Term Memory Loss

x011 at Lehigh.EDU x011 at Lehigh.EDU
Fri Apr 21 08:11:59 EST 1995

In article <3n4lqg$9vi at>, Bill Meade <sbmeade at> wr
>My wife (age 34) has had intermittent loss of short term (i.e., the last
>two weeks of events when it happens) memory for the past 12 years.
>Frequency is about once every 8 months (sometimes once a year others
>once a month).  In the past 5 years she's had a CatScan, EEG (had the
>memory loss while on the EEG machine the first time but no symptoms were
>picked up) twice, and one year ago she had an MRI.  MRI showed some
>shrinkage around the  brain stem (in the neurologist's words) but nothing
>else major.
>She had another episode 3 weekends ago.  It happened (as is often the
>case) while she was taking a short nap.  She wakes up not knowing what is
>going on (not disoriented just no memories).  It looks for all the world
>like a hard disk is being decheckerboarded and is interrupted in the
>middle.  All the pointers are gone and have to be rebuilt.  In about 24
>hours she is back to normal and the memories are back except for a few
>fuzzy facts (she reviews shopping lists etc. to nail down as many details
>as possible).  Only drug she is on is birth control pills.  We have 3
>kids under 10 and are under no huge stresses.  Yes, we called the
>neurologist about this but he had no new ideas.
>If anyone has any ideas I would appreciate it if you would contact me and
>let me know.  We're at a loss about where to go next and have gone into
>"broadcast mode" to avoid overlooking any simple cures that might exist.
>Bill Meade sbmeade at
This sounds a little like the woman who had a stroke at 16 and recovered,
got married, had three children, and then had her next stroke at 34.
Surgery was used to repair the last broken blood vessel.  While doing this
they noticed the first stoke damage sight and fixed it also.  When she
woke up she thought she was 16 and had lost her memory from 16 to 34.
Your hard drive model and pointer theory sounds interesting.  The
brain may use time cycles and time dates for information storage.  Problems
with a "clock" system may cause the observation.  Notice in the first
example that blood flow was reestablished to an old stroke sight, the
birth control pills may be changing the blood flow patterns and result
in unusual brain oscillation pattern with no appropriate time pointers.
This is speculation at best and all usual disclaimers apply.
Ron Blue x011 at

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