When people lose their ability to memorize data they have amnesia. Amnesia also refers to an inability to recall information that is stored in memory. In simple terms, amnesia is the loss of memory. The causes of amnesia may be organic or functional.
Organic causes of amnesia may include brain damage through injury, or the use of specific drugs - usually sedative drugs. Amnesia may be one of the symptoms of some degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease.
You've probably seen the startling memory loss of amnesia portrayed on television. A mysterious stranger shows up with no memories of his past, his identity or even his name. The diagnosis is clear: amnesia! Just one more bonk on the head and it will come back to him soon...
In actuality, amnesia is unlikely to appear (let alone disapper) like on T.V., but may share some of its symptoms. Read on to learn about the various types of amnesia and its real-life treatments.
Transient global amnesia usually affects patients between the ages of 40 and 80. Patients with this condition are often described – wrongly – as being confused. It presents classically with an abrupt onset of severe anterograde amnesia. It is usually accompanied by repetitive questioning. The patient does not have any focal neurological symptoms. Patients remain alert, attentive, and cognition is not impaired. However, they are disoriented to time and place. Attacks usually last for 1–8 h but should be less than 24 h.