Amnesia, as we know is the sudden loss of memories like experiences, personal information, as well as important facts. Even though forgetting important personal information is a normal case in movies and shows portraying the condition, this is not actually the usual case. The condition of having amnesia is quite a heavy thing to deal with. It is not that easy. However, having enough knowledge about it may be a great help. If you wan to know various necessary things about the condition including the treatments for amnesia, feel free to give this article a read.
Amnesia: What is this condition?
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Amnesia –this is a form of memory loss that some people experience. There are some people who have amnesia, who experience a difficulty in forming new memories. Some people cannot recall past experiences, or some facts about themselves. People who have amnesia usually remember information about themselves or their own individuality, as well as some of their motor skills.
The mild is actually a normal part of aging. however, significant memory loss, or the inability to form new memories may be an indication that there is a presence of an amnestic condition. Professionals often refer amnesia as the condition wherein a certain person may no longer recall or memorize a particular information, which is stored in the memory. This condition is actually very rare, in spite of being a famous theme for some books, novels, and movies.
This is completely different from being a bit forgetful. Amnesia refers to the large-scale loss of memories, which are supposedly not to be forgotten. These memories include important facts that have been taught or told, important people in our lives, memorable events, and some important milestones in life.
Those people with amnesia may find it hard to remember the past, imagine themselves in the future, and memorize new information. This is for the reason that they may have constructed future scenarios on the basis of the recollections of the past experiences. The inability to recollect or recall experiences and events may involve a wide variety of intricate brain processes.
Most of the people who have amnesia become lucid and may have the sense of self. But they may also experience some severe difficulties in understanding new things, recall past memories, or both.
Symptoms of Amnesia
Here are some of the most common symptoms of amnesia:
- Unable to recognize various locations and faces.
- Having a problem with some short-term memory, total or partial loss of memory.
- Disorientation or confusion.
- Tremors and clumsy movements, which may indicate neurological problems.
- Experiencing false memory that may either be completely invented or comes from the past memories.
- Impairment in remembering various past events and familiar information.
- Impairment of the ability to understand and learn new things and information.
Causes of Amnesia
Whatever injury or disease that may affect the brain may interfere with the memory. The memory function actually engages various parts of the brain simultaneously. The damage to the brain structures, which form the limbic system like the thalamus and hippocampus may also lead to amnesia. This is since the limbic system is the ones that control the memories and emotions.
The possible causes of the neurological amnesia or the amnesia caused by some brain damage or injury include the following:
- Various medications
- Alzheimer’s disease, other types of dementia, and some other degenerative brain conditions
- Brain tumors (specifically in the brain area that controls memory)
- Long-term abuse of alcohol
- Lack of enough oxygen for the brain, for instance from a carbon monoxide poisoning, respiratory condition, as well as heart attack.
- Inflammation of the brain
Risk Factors for Amnesia
Here are the most common factors that may increase the risk of having amnesia:
- Alcohol abuse
- Head injury
- Brain surgery
Prevention of amnesia
Since brain damage may become the root of amnesia, it is very important to take measures in minimizing the chance of a brain injury. Hence, here are some preventive measures that can be beneficial for the condition:
- Get an immediate medical attention if symptoms have been seen.
- Treat whatever infection that occurs immediately for it not to spread in the brain.
- Always wear helmet and safety gears when riding or driving into vehicles.
- Avoid consuming alcohol excessively.
Treatments for Amnesia
In most of the cases, the condition can resolve without any treatments for amnesia. However, if there is an underlying mental condition or physical problems, treatment is a must. The treatments for amnesia may involve strategies and techniques, which help compensate the memory condition. This may involve:
- Using various digital aids like smartphones, which is beneficial in doing daily tasks and to remind the patients about very important event of their lives, and more.
- Giving learning strategies for the organization of information. Furthermore, this is to make it easier to store the information.
- Going to an occupational therapist to get new information. Moreover, this is to replace the lost memories or to use the existing memories as a foundation for getting new information.