Memory Loss and Switiching Dominant Hands


That is what happened to 14 year-old Mikayla Wilson of Washington state, after she sustained a concussion playing basketball.  ABC.com has a story and video on this HERE.

“She didn’t black out, she didn’t grab her head in obvious injury,” Wilson’s dad, Michael, told ABC News affiliate KXLY 4. “She just got up and noticed her head hurt a little bit on the back. But basketball these days is a very physical game, and there’s lots of contact.”

And one does not have to have ‘obvious symptoms’ in order for the brain to be dysfunctional.  Although rare, it can happen.

After a fouled Wilson shot her free throws, she played two more quarters for the Liberty High Lancers. It wasn’t until the team gathered after the game when Wilson asked her mom, Lorie, “Who are those girls dressed just like I am and why are they looking at me?” that anyone noticed anything wrong.

One of the most scary signs of concussion is the loss of memory, I have had kids and adults tell me that “it is frightening to realize what you don’t know and should know.”  What is even more interesting with Mikayla is this;

It has been nearly three weeks since the injury, and Wilson still can’t remember the names of her friends and teammates. She has also switched from writing with her right hand to using her left — a tweak that even her doctor had never seen.

“She had to sign something, and she grabbed the pen with her left hand,” her father said, adding that she didn’t notice until he pointed it out. “She said it felt more natural to use her left.”

Wilson was ambidextrous as a young child, according to her dad. And although her new left-handed scrawl is imperfect, it’s impressive. She has also used chopsticks with her left hand since the injury.

“It’s unusual that someone should switch hands after a mild traumatic brain injury,” Cohen said, adding that usually people switch hands after developing weakness in the dominant one. “Maybe there’s something causing her to be weaker in her right hand. But the fact that she switched without realizing is interesting.”

In the video her father does a good job of relaying how the emergency room doctor explained why these symptoms manifested.  Paraphrasing here; “After the injury because she kept playing, when the brain needed the blood to help with recovery, it was not getting it due to the large muscle groups using it for playing.”

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After this news perhaps Mike Miller will find his scoring touch after his “ear infection”.

2 thoughts on “Memory Loss and Switiching Dominant Hands

  1. Danielle Combs July 5, 2012 / 07:07

    My daughter is 12 years old and suffered a concussion 4 weeks ago. She switched dominant hands and continues to have trouble recognizing people, ringing in her ear and trouble with dizzness at times. I was wondering if this girl fully recovered and if she is still left handed.

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