What is Amnesia
When people lose their ability to memorize data they have amnesia. Amnesia also refers to an inability to recall information that is stored in memory. In simple terms, amnesia is the loss of memory. Memory in this context refers either to stored memories or to the process of committing something to memory. The causes of amnesia have traditionally been divided into the "organic" or the "functional".
Organic causes include damage to the brain, through physical injury, neurological disease or the use of certain (generally sedative) drugs. Functional causes are psychological factors, such as mental disorder, post-traumatic stress or, in psychoanalytic terms, defense mechanisms. Amnesia may also appear as spontaneous episodes, in the case of transient global amnesia
People with amnesia also find it hard to imagine the future, because our constructions of future scenarios are closely linked to our recollections of past experiences.
What are the types of Amnesia Top
Anterograde amnesia. This form of amnesia follows brain trauma and is characterized by the inability to remember new information. Recent experiences and short-term memory disappear, but victims can recall events prior to the trauma with clarity.
Retrograde amnesia. In some ways, this form of amnesia is the opposite of anterograde amnesia: the victim can recall events that occurred after a trauma, but cannot remember previously familiar information or the events preceding the trauma.
Transient global amnesia. A temporary loss of all memory, but it particularly affects the ability to form new memories (severe anterograde amnesia), with milder loss of past memories (retrograde amnesia) going back a few hours. It is rare and is most common among older persons with vascular disease.
Traumatic amnesia. Traumatic amnesia is caused by brain damage from a hard blow to the head, such as in a car accident. It can lead to anything from a brief loss of consciousness to coma. Traumatic amnesia is often transient; the duration of the amnesia is related to the degree of injury and may give an indication of the prognosis for recovery of other functions.
Wernike-Korsakoff's psychosis. Wernike-Korsakoff's psychosis is memory loss caused by extended alcohol abuse. This tends to be a progressive disorder and is usually accompanied by neurological problems, such as uncoordinated movements and loss of feeling in the fingers and toes.
Hysterical (fugue) amnesia. Hysterical (fugue) amnesia is usually triggered by a traumatic event that the person's mind is unable to properly handle. Usually, the memory slowly or suddenly returns a few days later, although memory of the trauma itself may remain incomplete.
Infantile/childhood amnesia. Infantile/childhood amnesia refers to a person's inability to recall events from early childhood. Some say this type of amnesia could be linked to language development or the fact that some areas of the brain linked to memory were not fully mature.
Posthypnotic amnesia is where events during hypnosis are forgotten, or where past memories are unable to be recalled.
Causes of Amnesia Top
Any disease or injury that affects the brain can interfere with the intricacies of memory. Memory function engages many different parts of the brain simultaneously. Damage to brain structures that form the limbic system, the hippocampus and thalamus, can lead to amnesia - the limbic system controls our emotions and memories. Scientists at the University of Liverpool discovered dramatic differences in the memory performance of patients with damage to the hippocampus.
Causes of neurological or organic amnesia
This refers to amnesia caused by brain injury or damage. Possible causes are:
Symptoms of Amnesia Top