What is amnesia ?

Amnesia is a rare condition wherein the person forgets a period or incident of his or her life. Amnesia can be caused by brain damage and by psychological causes, affecting people of all ages. Amnesia can be a result of malnutrition, Alzheimer’s disease and long-term alcoholism. There are several types of amnesia:

1) Global amnesia is a condition, commonly affecting old people, wherein patients experience total loss of memory, usually caused by post-traumatic stress. Most of these patients never regain their memories back, but could experience occasional flashes of memory, but usually only on the traumatic events that occurred causing the amnesia.

2) Dissociative amnesia occurs in people who experienced traumatic events. With this condition, the person remembers all of his or her memories, except the traumatic event such as rape, accident, death of a loved one or other traumatic events. Childhood amnesia is similar to this type of amnesia, but patients only block traumatic memories from their childhood.

3) Anterograde & Retrograde Amnesia – Caused by damages to a person’s brain, particularly the temporal lobes, antegrade amnesia is similar to Drew Barrymore’s “51st Dates” where her character cannot keep new memories, but remember all memories before the accident or the event that damaged her brain. On the other hand, patients with retrograde amnesia cannot remember every memory before the accident, but are capable of creating memories after the event that damaged their brains.

4) Traumatic Amnesia – This type of amnesia is caused by head injury. The intensity and duration of memory loss depends largely on the severity of injury received. However, traumatic amnesia is usually curable.

5) Source Amnesia – Considered as the most common type of amnesia, people with source amnesia remember information well, but cannot determine when or how he obtained it.

Most types of amnesia are treated through psychotherapy, but severe cases are often explored with unconventional methods like hypnosis. However, amnesia caused by Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases often cause permanent memory loss.

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4 Responses to “What is amnesia ?”

  1. puja said:

    sometimes i feel that am suffring from amnesia ….before my marrige i was lil bit forgetful but after my preganancy i become so forget ful i can,t remember things..if asking me something 10 min or 15 mins before i just can,t remember wht u ve asked i just can,t remember….pls pls help me…

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