What causes amnesia?
Amnesia has several root causes. Most are traceable to brain injury related to physical trauma , disease, infection, drug and alcohol abuse, or reduced blood flow to the brain (vascular insufficiency). In Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, for example, damage to the memory centers of the brain results from the use of alcohol or malnutrition. Infections that damage brain tissue, including encephalitis and herpes, can also cause amnesia. If the amnesia is thought to be of psychological origin, it is termed psychogenic.
Amnesia is most commonly associated with either brain damage through injury or degeneration of brain cells in dementia. In both cases, brain cells are lost, and due to the complex network connecting cells within the human brain, they cannot be replaced. Most significant brain damage occurs when the brain is injured, such as in a car accident or as the result of a fall or blow. These traumas tend to cause a state of confusion, and some memory is often lost.
Infections that affect the brain, such as herpes or encephalitis may also cause memory loss. Severe alcohol or drug abuse, and malnutrition, act to deprive the brain of nutrients causing the death of brain cells. This can also cause significant loss of memories. Memory loss may sometimes result from stroke, if it affects the area of the brain concerned with memory functions.
More information on amnesia
What is amnesia? - Amnesia is a profound memory loss which is usually caused either by physical injury to the brain or by the ingestion of a toxic substance which affects the brain.
What types of amnesia are there? - Types of amnesia inclue anterograde amnesia, retrograde amnesia, transient global amnesia, traumatic amnesia, wernike-Korsakoff's psychosis.
What is anterograde amnesia? - Anterograde amnesia is a form of amnesia where new events are not transferred to long-term memory. Anterograde amnesia is a deficit in learning subsequent to the onset of the disorder.
What's retrograde amnesia? - Retrograde amnesia is a form of amnesia where someone will be unable to recall events that occurred before the onset of amnesia.
What is dissociative amnesia? - Dissociative amnesia is characterized by a blocking out of critical personal information, usually of a traumatic or stressful nature.
What is infantile amnesia? - Infantile/childhood amnesia refers to a person's inability to recall events from early childhood. Infantile amnesia could be linked to language development.
What causes amnesia? - Amnesia has several root causes. Amnesia is usually caused either by physical injury to the brain or by the ingestion of a toxic substance which affects the brain.
What're the symptoms of amnesia? - People with amnesia have difficulty learning new information, and they have difficulty recalling previously learned information.
How is amnesia diagnosed? - In diagnosing amnesia and its cause, psychological exams may be ordered to determine the extent of amnesia and the memory system affected.
What is the treatment for amnesia? - Treatment of amnesia depends on the root cause of amnesia and is handled on an individual basis. Psychotherapy can be helpful for amnesia caused by emotional trauma.
How to prevent amnesia? - Amnesia is only preventable in so far as brain injury can be prevented or minimized. Brain infections should be treated swiftly and aggressively.