In the case of memory loss due to a blunt force impact, can memory later be restored by means of another blunt force impact?

Seems fairly common on TV.

I did find some anecdotal evidence of this:

  • 2
    Harry Potter is on TV too. Could magic possibly be involved?
    – user3344
    Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 13:10
  • Lol Woodchips! Let's add the Flintstones to that list also! Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 17:54
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    tvtropes calls it Easy Amnesia and the wiki has a big page on the most common hollywood amnesia (treatment put repeated blunt force trauma as a non-option) Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 22:11
  • I am surprised to find this question has not been asked before.
    – Chad
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 20:33
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    Bart's advice to Homer before fighting a large man: "Make sure he hits you in the head an even number of times so you don't get amnesia!"
    – Kip
    Commented Oct 17, 2012 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


Cecil Adams, the syndicated columnist of "The Straight Dope", addressed this precise issue in this column (which sides with "Woodchip", more or less), that a closed-head injury is rarely so black and white that the person loses all past memory only, then miraculously regains past memory with another head blow.

Can you get amnesia from a blow to the head?

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    This really needs something a bit more scientific and reputable than a random link on the internet.
    – nico
    Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 20:33
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    Define "random", please? Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 22:13
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    Random meaning not a reputable source. And no, I would not consider "The straight dope" as a reputable source for medical issues. Please provide some link to peer-reviewed research.
    – nico
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 6:12
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    absolutely not. Absence of evidence is considered absence of evidence and it would be a very good answer.
    – nico
    Commented Oct 13, 2012 at 6:28
  • 2
    Hold your horses, @nico, Cecil Adams is a reputable source.
    – marton78
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 22:15

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