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Lack of Short-Term Memory Doesn't Stop New Grad

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Lack of Short-Term Memory Doesn't Stop New Grad

Education

Lack of Short-Term Memory Doesn't Stop New Grad

Lack of Short-Term Memory Doesn't Stop New Grad

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/10451434/10451437" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Andrew Engel just graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a bachelor's degree in health administration — despite having no short-term memory. Engel learned he had a brain tumor in 1995, when he was starting his freshman year in college.

Engel recovered from the tumor, but he was left with no short-term memory. Told to forget about going to college, Engel instead pressed a team of doctors at Johns Hopkins to devise ways for him to learn.

Engel tells NPR's Robert Siegel that with the team, he found a way to study that allows new information to be stored in a healthy part of his brain that is associated with long-term memory.

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