Amnesia: It’s not just a blow on the head that can erase your memory

Amnesia brain

Last Updated June 17th, 2019

What is amnesia?

A temporary or permanent memory loss is called amnesia.  Head and brain injuries, drugs side effects, alcohol consumption, as well as degenerative brain disease may be some of the causes.  There are several types of amnesia.  Some of the symptoms may include an inability to learn anything new, as well as forgetting events from the past.

A mild case of amnesia may involve a person unable to recall a concussion to the head as well as the recovery, but all other past and present memory remain intact.  This may occur as the brain takes some time to process and develop memories.  It should be noted that dementia is completely different from amnesia.  A diagnosis of dementia is made when there is memory loss associated with cognitive impairment.  Whereas in the case of amnesia, there is a memory loss with no associated cognitive impairment.

Facts on amnesia

  • An inability to learn anything new or recall old memories is considered to be amnesia.
  • Confusion and uncoordinated movements may be associated with amnesia.
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff’s psychosis is a type of amnesia caused by alcohol abuse.
  • Many factors can contribute to amnesia including traumatic experiences and brain injury.

Types of amnesia

Anterograde amnesia

This type of amnesia causes a person to not remember new information such as events that occurred recently.  During this phase the information that has to be collected into short-term memory vanishes.  Brain trauma is considered to be the main cause.  During this phase, the person may forget the most recent trauma caused to the brain but can remember older events before the injury.

Retrograde amnesia

This type of amnesia is generally the opposite of anterograde amnesia.  Here the person forgets the events before a brain trauma and can remember the events after the trauma.  In a very rare case, both retrograde and anterograde amnesia can affect a person together.

Transient global amnesia

This is a rare type of amnesia and generally affects older adults suffering from vascular disease.  Here a person may be affected with the temporary loss of all memory.  There are also some severe cases where there may be difficulty forming new memories.

Traumatic amnesia

As indicated in the name, this type of amnesia is caused when there is a hard blow to the head.  A person may experience this type of amnesia during a car accident, which may lead to loss of consciousness or even coma.  This type of amnesia is generally temporary, but the temporary phase depends on how severe the injury is.

Wernicke-Korsakoff’s psychosis

Long-term alcohol abuse is believed to be the cause of this progressive memory loss that worsens over time.  The symptoms include neurological problems associated with loss of feeling in the toes and fingers.  Another cause for this is related to malnutrition caused by a vitamin B1 deficiency.

Hysterical (fugue or dissociative) amnesia

It is a rare form of amnesia where a person may forget the past as well as the identity.  You may wake up one morning and may not recognize your own face in the mirror.  You would become completely blank and not know what to do.  You may not even remember the basic activities of even brushing the teeth.  It is believed that this may occur when an event occurs and the mind is not able to cope with it.  The person may regain the memory back suddenly which may happen in a few hours or even a few days.  It is believed that the memory of the shocking event may never return completely.

Childhood amnesia (infantile amnesia)

It is not considered to be a serious type of amnesia.  It refers to a person not able to recall the events occurred during childhood.  This is caused when there is a developmental problem during early childhood.  Since the brain is not fully developed, the child may face problems with language and memory problems early in childhood.  Due to this reason, memories related to early childhood becomes vague.

Posthypnotic amnesia

This is related to hypnosis where a person is unable to recall events that occurred during hypnosis.

Source amnesia

During this amnesia, the person is able to recollect certain information but is not able to find the source of the information, which means the person does not know from where the information originated.

Blackout phenomenon

This occurs when a person indulges in binge drinking.  The person may not remember the period during the binge.

Prosopamnesia

It is a rare type where a person does not remember faces and places.

What are the classic symptoms of this condition?

As discussed earlier, symptoms may include problems with short-term memory and the inability to retain new information.  Memories that are most recent are likely to be lost, whereas established memories may be spared.  It can so happen that a person may remember several sweet memories of the childhood but is unable to even remember what was today’s breakfast or which day it is at present.

The bitter fact is that a person affected by amnesia can understand that he or she is affected with a memory disorder, but cannot help.  It should be noted that this temporary memory loss may not affect a person’s intelligence, personality, general knowledge, attention span, awareness, etc.

They can even perform complex skills like playing the piano or riding a bike.  It should be noted that amnesia and dementia may be similar with respect to memory loss, but there is a difference with respect to cognition.  The person affected from dementia would exhibit symptoms of impaired cognition, but this is not true in the case of amnesia.

Some of the common symptoms are discussed below:

  • It affects a person from learning new information.
  • The ability to remember previously familiar events becomes impaired.
  • A phenomenon of confabulation may occur such as false memories may be invented or real memories become misplaced in time.
  • Often leads to confusion or disorientation.
  • Unable to recognize people or locations.

Other causes of amnesia

It is important for the brain to function normally to have a sound memory.  Various parts of the brain are involved to maintain the normal functioning of the memory.  Normal memory function involves many parts of the brain.  The functioning of the memory may be impaired when the brain is affected by any disease or injury.

It is believed that when there is damage to the limbic system, which is responsible for controlling memories and emotions, it leads to amnesia.  The limbic system includes the deep part of the brain called the thalamus and the hippocampal formations situated in the temporal lobes of the brain.  Neurological amnesia is caused when there is brain damage.  Some of the examples of neurological amnesia include:

  • Encephalitis (inflammation in the brain).
  • A limited supply of oxygen to the brain due to carbon monoxide poisoning as well as heart attack and respiratory distress.
  • A Wernicke-korsakoff syndrome is caused due to vitamin B1 deficiency from long-term alcohol use.
  • Alzheimer disease and dementia called as a degenerative brain disease.

It is common for a person to have a minor head injury during sports or other outdoor activities, and may cause a mild case of amnesia, and does not last long.  A more severe type of head injury such as concussion that can occur during a car accident can lead to a more severe type of amnesia and the effects may last longer and can even become permanent.  Another type of amnesia may affect a person due to psychological stress such as emotional shock or trauma.  This is called dissociative (psychogenic) amnesia.  This affects a person briefly and may experience a loss of personal memories.

What are the complications of amnesia?

The severity and the scope of amnesia may vary from person to person, but it is hard to digest that even a mild case of amnesia can affect the quality of life in a big way.  It is definitely going to impact your personal and professional life drastically.  There is a good chance of recovery, but it is not guaranteed.  A person affected by a severe type of amnesia may require one on one care and may have to reside at a supervised facility due to the occurrence of hallucinations and other memory problems.

Amnesia: What is the scope of getting better?

To be frank there is not much that can be done apart from some psychological help.  The treatment mainly depends on the severity and scope of amnesia.  Patients may receive some assistive technology devices to stay organized and stay updated.  Unfortunately, there is only a 50% chance of recovery depending on the severity.

People affected with a severe type of amnesia may require 24/7 supervision.  Minimizing the risk of developing amnesia seems to be the best chance we have.  Try to avoid regular drugs consumption for minor illness and totally avoid alcohol.  Also protect your head from injuries during sports, driving, or outdoor activities.  It is also advised to take prompt treatment when affected by an infection, as this may also lead to damage to the brain leading to amnesia.

Can you prevent the onset of amnesia?

Few healthy habits can be followed to reduce the risk of memory loss and these include:

  • Avoid alcohols or at least keep it to minimal.
  • Try to protect your head during any sports activities or while driving to avoid head injuries.
  • Try to keep yourself mentally active throughout your life by playing mentally challenging games, reading books, and exploring places.
  • Try to stay physically active.
  • Eat a healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins.
  • Keep yourself hydrated.

TL;DR?

 

Display this infographic on your website

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

 

 

Related Posts

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
Clitoris: Why is it called the gateway to toe-curling female orgasms? The word clitoris comes from the Greek word kleitoris or “little hill.”  Many compare the…
apple cider vinegar weight loss
Apple cider vinegar: Weight loss, shinier hair, and more! Did you know that apple cider vinegar, produced by the simple fermentation of apple juice,…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are…
Find the G spot: The top sex positions that guarantee an orgasm There has been a long debate as to whether the G-spot actually exists as a…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
dandelion health benefits
Dandelion: Little parachutes of health and wellness for your whole body Dandelions are not just bright looking blossoms that cheer your mind. These are powerpacked with…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
turmeric skin
We bet you didn’t know that turmeric could be this beneficial! Did you know that turmeric, a humble ingredient found in most Indian kitchens could cure…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk…
Keto diet healthy
Keto Diet: Did you know you could eat fats to burn fats? Keto diet - A wonder diet that lets you eat fats and lose weight too!…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be.…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
The right way to prepare Alfalfa sprouts at home Alfalfa or lusan ghas is not just a nutritious animal fodder. This flavonoid-rich herb has…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an…
Is this is the real life? Is this just fantasy? – Decoding the myths of lucid dreaming Lucid dreaming or dreaming with a state of awareness has often intrigued the minds of…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are…
back pain relief
Don’t choose pain: 10 truths about your back ache (and how to get relief) Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world. Almost 80% of…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes,…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However,…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you…
Military diet
Military Diet : Why following a highly restrictive diet is a bad idea Is seiging your calorie intake the right way to attack fats? Read more about Military…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but…
V for Vagina: How well do you know this extraordinary part of the female anatomy? Vagina - a simple part of the human anatomy that has often created a feeling…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of…
Spirulina: Battle diabetes and cholesterol with this blue-green algae Spirulina, a species of salt water algae, has now become a billion dollar industry. How…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity ,…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail…
Isagenix diet
Isagenix Diet: Do you really need liquid meal replacements to lose weight? Isagenix Diet - What are liquid meal replacements and why is the world going ga-ga…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find…
Experts reveal, how long does marijuana actually stay in your system… Weed or marijuana is one of the most widely abused recreational drug. But did you…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of…
Vitamin C: The instant health benefits of adding the citrusy goodness to your diet Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that cannot be synthesized in your body and has…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep…
quinoa salad
Quinoa : A prodigious superfood you need to include in your diet today! Quinoa - what is so special about this native South American grain that has taken…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn…
DASH Diet: What to eat in a “Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension”? If you or your loved one is suffering from chronic hypertension (high blood pressure), dash…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the…
Colloidal silver benefits
Colloidal silver: An essential dietary supplement or yet another pharmaceutical hoax? Colloidal silver is hailed as an effective home remedy for infections. Many believe it can…
What is the eustachian tube and how does it help you maintain body balance? Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the…
GERD heartburn
Heartburn: What are the exact symptoms and the best home remedies? There are easy home remedies for heartburn, which not only acts as a first aid…
TRX: Why is this total resistance workout the best choice for your body? TRX or total resistance exercise is a form of exercise where suspension belts are used…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen…
understanding addiction
Addiction explained: An obsession that could cost you your life Is addiction a behavioral disorder? Or is it a chronic disease? How does addiction cause…
healthy habits
10 healthy habits: Have a hearty kick-start to the New Year! Do you set goals that are too difficult for you to maintain? Are to struggling…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can…
collagen benefits skin
Collagen: Get age-defying skin and faster hair growth with this miracle protein Collagen – Wrinkle-free skin, stronger nails, and thicker locks – now you have more reasons…

Related Posts

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.