Amnesia in simple words is a loss of memory to a variable degree. It may be a result of some serious underlying pathology or may at times be functional in nature.
It may temporarily occur as an impact of a strong sedative or hypnotic drug. Brain damage or psychological trauma may also result in short lived or long lasting memory loss.
Types of Amnesia
Amnesia may be retrograde or anterograde depending upon the patient symptoms and the kind of memory loss experienced by him.
1. Retrograde amnesia
It is a condition in which the patient is not able to recall past events beyond a particular date. Usually brain injury due to trauma or operation may result in such a condition.
2. Anterograde amnesia
It is another condition in which the patient struggles to maintain a long term memory. It is difficult for him to retain for long time periods.
A patient can suffer from one or both the conditions simultaneously.
3. Transient global amnesia
It is a condition which is characterized by sudden bouts of restlessness in the person which may be a result of a temporary memory loss. The condition usually subsides after some time and the person does not normally retain a memory of the event.
At times it may occur due to a temporary stoppage of blood supply to a particular part of the brain which is causing non – retention of memory.
Amnesic patients are able to form new memories and recall immediate events without any difficulty.
Intellectual bent of mind also remains unhindered and linguistic and social skills also remain intact in amnesic patients despite difficulties in recalling and retaining important memory.
Is it possible to cure amnesia?
It is not exactly a curable disease. A basic concept about nerve cells is that once they die they cannot be regenerated. So depending upon the extent of damage caused by the nerve cells, amnesia may be revived only to a particular extent.
How to diagnose a case of Amnesia?
An amnesic patient has trouble co relating facts and recalling important events from his life in the past or small but specific details like what he had for food two hours ago and what is the country he is living in.
The motor skills of the patient are usually unaffected and they are able to perform important duties at work and at home with ease.
Treatment of amnesia
Amnesia may be treatable in cases like chemically induced amnesia. In such cases, the drug should be withdrawn or replaced under the guidance of a general practitioner or an expert medical professional only.
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