What you need to know about amnesia and how to treat it.
What you need to know about amnesia and how to treat it.

Amnesia is when an individual is no longer able to memorize or remember memory-stored knowledge. Despite being a common theme for films and books, it is very uncommon. It is entirely different to getting amnesia and be easily forgetful. Amnesia refers to the loss of memories on a wide scale that shouldn’t be lost. Here are what you need to know about amnesia and how to treat it.

This may involve significant life achievements, unforgettable incidents, important figures in our lives, and essential information that we have been informed or educated.

Here are several key points as regards to amnesia. The main article provides more comprehensive and supporting material.

  • Alcohol abuse can contribute to a kind of amnesia known as the psychosis of Wernicke-Korsakoff.
  • Many factors, like traumatic events and brain damage, can cause amnesia.
    Typically, amnesia is healed without medication.
  • Amnesia is an inability to lay down fresh memories, remember old or all memories.
    Confusion and disorganized movements may include other signs of amnesia.

What does amnesia mean?

It is often difficult for individuals with amnesia to recall the past, memorize new knowledge, and envision the future. This is because, based on our recollections of past events, we create future event.

A number of diverse brain functions are involved in our ability to remember life experiences. What happens when we attach something to memory, or when we try to recover information stored in our brain, we really don’t know fully.

Typically, most persons with amnesia are conscious and have a sense of self. However, in learning new knowledge, they can encounter serious difficulties, fail to remember memories of past events, or both.

There are several forms of amnesia that are distinct. A list of the most popular ones is below:

  • Posthypnotic amnesia: It is not possible to remember events during hypnosis.
    Source amnesia: Some data can be recalled by the user, but not how or where they got the data.
  • Phenomenon of Blackout: A bottle of heavy drink will leave a person with memory gaps, where during the binge they can not recall chunks of time.
  • Prosopagnosia: It is impossible for a human to recall faces. Individuals may either possess it or be born with it.
  • Anterograde amnesia: New knowledge can not be remembered by the person. Things that have recently occurred and data that should be preserved in short-term memory will vanish. This typically occurs from brain injuries, such as when a blow to the head causes brain damage. Data and events that happened before the injury will be remembered by the participant.
  • Retrograde amnesia: in certain cases, contrary to anterograde amnesia, a person is unable to recall incidents that unfolded due to the trauma, but remembers what happened after the trauma. Rarely, retrograde and anterograde amnesia can occur in combination.
  • Transient global amnesia: a temporary loss of all memory and trouble developing new memories in extreme cases. This is very rare in older adults with vascular (blood vessel) disease and is more likely.
  • Traumatic amnesia: For example, after a car accident, memory loss occurs from a heavy hit to the brain. The person may have a slight loss of consciousness or a coma. Also, amnesia is temporary, but how long it lasts usually depends on how serious the damage is. A major predictor of concussion may be amnesia.
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Common symptoms of amnesia include the following

  • Neurologic disorders are demonstrated by unorganized movements and muscle spasms.
    There may be misunderstanding or disorientation.
  • There may be short-term memory issues, full or partial memory loss issues.
    The individual may be incapable to recognize faces or places.
  • Anterograde amnesia is affected by the ability to learn new knowledge.
  • In retrograde amnesia, the capacity to recall past events and previously familiar details is diminished.
  • False memories, in a process known as confabulation, can be either entirely fabricated or consist of actual memories misplaced in time.

Contributing factors

Memory can meddle with any illness or injury that affects the brain. The role of memory requires several parts of the brain at the same time.

Harm to brain structures that shape the limbic system can contribute to amnesia, such as the hippocampus and thalamus. Our feelings and memories are mediated by the limbic system. 

Here are some  possible causes of amnesia from injury or damage to the brain.

  • A brain tumor that affects the memory of a portion of the brain
    Certain seizure disorders
  • Electroconvulsive therapy ( ECT) or electroshock therapy, a psychiatric procedure in which therapeutic seizures are caused, can lead to temporary loss of memory.
  • Head injuries that may lead to memory loss, which is normally temporary
  • As a result of a bacterial or viral infection or an autoimmune reaction, encephalitis or brain inflammation
  • Amnesia, confusion, and personality changes may be associated with celiac disease.
    Deficiency of oxygen, resulting from a heart attack, respiratory arrest, or carbon monoxide poisoning, for instance.
  • Some drugs, such as Ambien, is a sleeping medicine.
  • In the region between the skull and the brain, subarachnoid hemorrhage or bleeding.

Possible treatment for amnesia

  • Working with a healthcare professional to collect new data to replace missing memories or to use current memories as a guide for collecting new data.
  • Learning techniques for organizing data, to make it simpler to store.
  • To assist with everyday activities and inform patients of important events, when to take drugs, and so on, using digital aids, such as smartphones. It could be helpful to provide a contact list with pictures of faces.

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