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Rare Condition Causes Teen’s Short Term Memory to Reset Every Day

A year and a half ago, Caitlin Little, a sophomore at Southeast Guilford High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, suffered a concussion during a cross-country practice which left her with a rare form of amnesia. All of her new memories are erased each night, so every morning she wakes up thinking it’s October 2017.

Caitlin’s case sounds a lot like the plot of hit romantic comedy 50 First Dates, in which Drew Barrymore’s character was involved in a serious car accident which left her unable to create new memories after that terrible event, causing her to wake up every morning thinking it was the day of of the accident. In 2004, when 50 First Dates Came Out, the amnesia Barrymore’s character was suffering from was nothing more than a fictional condition called ‘Goldberg’s Syndrome’, and one clinical neuropsychologist even wrote an article about it, claiming that it “bears no relation to any known neurological or psychiatric condition”.  However, several real-life cases of short-term memory resetting have been reported since then, and today that once fictional condition is a medically-recognized disorder known as anterograde amnesia.

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