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Information about Amnesia

We Have to Know about the Amnesia

  • Amnesia refers to a loss of the everyday sense of memory responsible for knowing facts, events, information, and experiences
  • People with amnesia face severe difficulties in learning new information and forming new memories. They may not be able to recall memories of past experiences and information

Causes of Amnesia

Normal memory function involves many parts of the brain, and any disease or injury that affects the brain can interfere with memory. The anamnestic syndrome caused by brain injury or damage is known as neurological or organic amnesia. Possible causes of neurological amnesia include:

  • Stroke
  • Brain inflammation (encephalitis) resulting from infection from herpes simplex virus (HSV)
  • Lack of adequate oxygen in the brain (for example, from a heart attack, respiratory distress or carbon monoxide poisoning)
  • Bleeding between the brain and skull (subarachnoid hemorrhage)
  • Long-term alcohol abuse leading to thiamin (vitamin B-1) deficiency
  • Tumors in areas of the brain that control memory
  • Certain seizure disorders
  • Head injuries, such as those sustained in car accidents, can lead to confusion and problems remembering new information, especially in the early stages of recovery — but usually, don’t cause severe amnesia

Another rare type of amnesia, called psychogenic or dissociative amnesia, stems from emotional shock or trauma, such as being the victim of a violent crime. In this disorder, a person may lose personal memories for a few hours to days or longer

Signs & Symptoms of Amnesia

The two main features of amnesia are:

  • Impaired ability to learn new information following the onset of amnesia (anterograde amnesia)
  • Impaired ability to recall past events and previously familiar information (retrograde amnesia)
  • Most people with the amnestic syndrome have problems with short-term memory — they can’t retain new information
  • The memory loss doesn’t affect a person’s intelligence, general knowledge, awareness, attention span, judgment, personality or identity

Amnesia isn’t the same as dementia. Dementia includes memory loss, but it also involves other significant cognitive problems that lead to a decline in the ability to carry out daily activities.

  • Neurological problems such as uncoordinated movements or tremors
  • Confusion or disorientation

Do’s and Don’ts of Amnesia

The root cause of most cases of amnesia is a brain injury. To minimize your chance of a brain injury:

  • Avoid excessive alcohol use
  • Wear a helmet when using a two-wheeler and a seat belt when driving a four wheeler
  • Treat brain infections quickly and aggressively

Medical advice for Amnesia

  • Anyone who experiences unexplained memory loss, a head injury, confusion or disorientation requires immediate medical attention
  • If someone you know has symptoms of amnesia, don’t hesitate to help the person get medical attention

Risk factors of Amnesia

The chance of developing amnesia might increase if you’ve experienced:

  • Brain surgery, head injury or trauma, stroke, alcohol abuse

Treatment for Amnesia

  • cognitive therapy, treating alcoholism

Self-care for Amnesia

  • avoiding alcohol

Investigations for Amnesia

  • A neurological exam to check reflexes sensory function, balance and other physiological aspects of the brain and nervous system
  • MRI, CT Scan
Information about Amnesia
    Symptoms of Amnesia