Understanding Amnesia

Amnesia refers to the condition characterized by the loss portions of memory that is associated with remembering facts, events, and experiences. This loss of memory can be of two types- anterograde amnesia or retrograde amnesia.

The former refers to difficulty in recalling recent events and immediate memory as they don’t register or stored into the brain’s long term memory. The latter on the other hand is the inability of a person to recall past memories that may be beyond just common forgetfulness.

Causes of amnesia

Causes of amnesia in general can either be functional or organic. There are certain forms of amnesia that are functional in nature caused by certain psychological factors.

For instance, people under severe stress may suddenly experience some form of amnesia. There are also certain severe forms of amnesia that are caused by organic factors such as brain trauma, stroke, or other diseases.

Symptoms of amnesia

There are two main symptoms of amnesia. One is the inability to recall past memories and the other is the inability to form new ones. There are certain forms of amnesia that can prevent a person from recalling or retain new information or memory while being able to recall past events and experiences. Memory loss seems not to affect a person’s intelligence as well as other cognitive skills such as language and writing ability.

How amnesia is diagnosed?

Diagnosis of certain conditions of amnesia requires an extensive evaluation that aim to rule other possible causes of memory loss such as Alzheimer’s, dementia or depression.

Doctors might take a review and evaluation of a person’s medical history as well as taking certain neurological exams and tests in order to check out other related physical functions that may be attributed to the loss of memory.

Other tests to determine the condition may include taking magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) or electroencephalogram (EEG) tests to identify possible brain injury as well as blood tests to determine certain infections and nutritional deficiencies.

How to prevent amnesia?

The primary cause of amnesia is usually injury to the brain. Avoiding doing activities that may cause damage to the brain can be a good means to prevent the condition or at least minimize the chances of getting injured.

How to treat amnesia?

There is no current medication that can be a cure-all for amnesia. Current treatment involves the combination of certain therapies that may help or aid patients in improving their faculty in recalling or remembering past events and experiences as well as retaining new information.

Proper nutrition may also be considered as part of treatment for other forms of amnesia cause by nutritional deficiencies.