7 Facts about Amnesia You Won't Want to Forget ...

If you have ever seen a movie or a TV show that featured a character with amnesia, you may be curious about some of the facts about amnesia. Often in the movies, people with amnesia are depicted as losing their identity. However, this rarely happens. More commonly, people who experience amnesia lose memories or have trouble learning new information. Unfortunately, one of the facts about amnesia is that it can be permanent, but not always. If you are interested in learning about amnesia, you will certainly want to know what causes it.

1. Causes

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One of the facts about amnesia is that there are many different causes. Strokes, brain inflammation, alcohol abuse, brain tumors, seizures, and traumatic events are just some of the things that can cause amnesia. One of the better known causes of amnesia is head trauma, which causes confusion and memory problems. However, head injuries rarely result in severe amnesia.

2. Symptoms

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There are two main categories of amnesia and each has its own symptoms. Anterograde amnesia causes the inability to learn new information, and retrograde amnesia causes an inability to recall old information. In addition to these problems, amnesia can also result in confusion, uncoordinated movements, and the inability to recognize faces.

3. Additional Types of Amnesia

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In addition to the two main categories of amnesia, there are many different types of amnesia. Hysterical amnesia is very rare, and it is what is often featured in movies. This type of amnesia is what causes people to forget their past and who they are. Transient global amnesia is another rare form of amnesia that often occurs when there is a vascular disease. It causes temporary loss of all memory. Another type of amnesia is Wernicke-Korsakoff’s psychosis, which is caused by extended alcohol abuse and is progressive. These are just several of the many types of amnesia.

4. Neurological Vs Psychological Amnesia

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Amnesia can be a result of either neurological or psychological problems. Neurological amnesia occurs when there is specific damage to the brain, such as having a stroke or receiving a blow to the head. Psychological amnesia occurs when there is memory loss due to a psychological trauma.

5. Diagnosis

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To diagnose amnesia, doctors perform very thorough examinations. In addition to asking for a detailed medical history, they also ask a lot of questions concerning the memory problems. Cognitive tests are often performed, and MRIs or CT scan are ordered to check for brain abnormalities. Sometimes, doctors even order blood tests to see if an abnormality could be causing the amnesia.

6. Treatment

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Treatment for amnesia centers on helping patients develop strategies to make up for their memory problems. People with amnesia usually receive occupational therapy where they learn information they may have forgotten, organizational strategies, and how to use technological assistance.

7. Coping

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Dealing with amnesia can be emotionally challenging for everyone involved. It can be frustrating for the person with amnesia not to be able to remember, and it can be difficult for family members and friends as well. Going to support groups or receiving private therapy can be helpful. Even having a family therapy session could help with the changing family dynamics.

Memory loss is something that can be very challenging. For people who have amnesia, it is important that they receive all of the help they need. No matter what caused the amnesia, the end result is frustrating memory loss. Have you ever known anyone with amnesia?

Sources: mayoclinic.org, medicalnewstoday.com, thebrain.mcgill.ca

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