A Basic Overview of Amnesia

10 August 2020

By Tegan

Amnesia is a condition that almost everyone has heard of. Commonly used as a trope in many forms of media, the condition has been poorly portrayed. It is a form of memory loss, and there are four distinct types: retrograde, anterograde, transient global, and infantile.

Retrograde amnesia:

The most well-known form. It involves the loss of existing memories. Usually, recent memories are lost first, and childhood memories are affected most slowly. Language and motor skills are unaffected. Diseases such as dementia can cause gradual retrograde amnesia. 

Anterograde amnesia:

This is the inability to form new memories. It is usually temporary and is most commonly caused by alcohol. 

Transient Global amnesia:

The least understood form of the illness and considered a scarcely researched phenomenon. It involves the sufferer experiencing extreme confusion and agitation. These feelings can be experienced for a lengthy period of time. Memory loss may also be experienced several hours before the attack. However, it is highly likely that the sufferer may not remember the attack.

Infantile amnesia:

This is very common and nothing to be alarmed about. It is simply the afflicted being unable to remember anything about their first 3-5 years of life. 

Coloured MRI Scan Of Human Brain

Certain activities can reduce your risk of amnesia, such as eating healthily, remaining physically active, mentally stimulating your brain, and wearing protective headgear in sports with a high risk of concussion. 

In terms of treatment, some forms of it can be completely alleviated, others can be weakened, and some are incurable, but can be managed. The treatability of the amnesia usually depends on what caused it.

Amnesia caused by mild injury or trauma usually resolves itself over time, although amnesia caused a severe head injury may not ever completely recede. 

Caused by dementia, unfortunately, amnesia is incurable. Although certain drugs can improve memory retention. Also, occupational therapy can teach sufferers ways to manage their memory loss.

In conclusion, amnesia, rather than being a single disorder, is a series of afflictions that affect memory in a variety of surprisingly interesting and diverse ways. 

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