I would like to know if anyone knows of someone who had gotten their short term memory back after having a brain tumor removed? My husband had a very large Pineal Meningioma Tumor removed 1-7-11. He has no short term memory. I believe in miracles but medically I feel/know his memory won't every come back. This is a rare situation as Pineal Meningioma Tumors are rare. The tumor was right in the middle of his head above the brain stem. He also had to have a VP shunt. His quality of life is so sad because he doesn't make new memories and has lost so much memory that he once had. If you have any information please comment.
Short term memory loss after brain surgery is more common than you might think.
Let me break this into a two part answer, first the basic info about standard approaches, and second, what I have seen happen over the years working with patients that had brain trauma from different sources;
First, Rehabilitation after brain tumor surgery that results in memory loss typically involves psychotherapy and cognitive therapy. Psychotherapy can help patients cope psychologically with the changes in their condition. Cognitive therapy is an intervention that can help patients learn and retain information. A so-called "spaced-retrieval method" also can be used to enhance the storage of sensory information (Google it and you will see what it is and what you can do at home with it as well). The method involves asking a patient to identify a designated object from an array of items at increasingly longer intervals.
Second, I have never ceased to be amazed at how the brain can find "work arounds" and bypass damaged parts of the brain with time.
Sometimes after surgery, clots can form in injured areas. Hopefully, they have already checked for clots, both micro and common. The fact that he has a shunt says that swelling/fluid is still a possible factor. Swelling will keep the brain from healing so it is very important that it be resolved if possible. It can take months even a few years for the brain to return to "stasis". Some doctors will use a product called Aricept (Donepezil) to help the brain develop the "work arounds" I mentioned earlier even though it is only indicated for Alzheimer's disease.
The more you can activate other parts of the brain, the better your chances are for slowly getting the missing part back. For example, if he played an instrument like the piano then getting him to try to start back up may help as it uses a different part of the brain and like a muscle, the more you work it the stronger it gets. If he can play certain games that require thought i.e. card games, board games, etc. the same principle applies. Be prepared for him to get frustrated every once in a while as he goes through any of the processes, especially in the beginning.
As I am sure you already know, there is no silver bullet quick fix. However, hopefully I have given you a few ideas and let you know all hope is not lost.
Beatrice, I had a brain tumor removed back in 99 and in 01. My short term memory is bad to say the least. I have drove to doctors appointments and didn't even know why I was there. It is now at the point where my doctor's call my wife and tell her everything because I will not remember. His short term memory might never get better but if he keeps repeating things enough it might make to into the section of the brain that controls long term memorys. I know how frustrating it is for both of you. Just take it one day at a time
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