Amnesia is the loss of your everyday memories, most often caused by a physiological brain damaging event. Essentially, facts, events, information and experiences can’t be recalled.
Most experience loss of memories related to specific time span. And once lost, they’re usually gone forever.
Retrograde amnesia and anterograde amnesia are the two basic types. With retrograde, recalling past experiences and memories is a problem. Anterograde makes learning new info and forming new memories difficult. Succinctly, retrograde is loss of memories prior to a triggering event and anterograde is defect in memories formed after.
Amnesia brought about by brain injury or damage is referred to as organic amnesia. Some fundamental causes encompass:
- head injury
- drug abuse
- brain tumors
- pernicious anemia
- brain inflammation
- a blow to your head
- Alzheimer’s disease
- severe alcohol abuse
- viral infection ~ herpes
- certain seizure disorders
- electroconvulsive therapy
- immune reaction to cancer
- vascular insufficiency in brain
- Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
- subarachnoid brain hemorrhage
- lack of oxygen to brain ~ heart attack, respiratory distress, carbon monoxide poisoning
Dissociative amnesia is a loss of memory related to personal and autobiographical information. This type of amnesia arises psychologically via an emotional or traumatic triggering event. The occurrence of memories vanishing this way is rare and retrieving them is a possibility.
If your memory loss is only temporary, then the episode is referred to as transient global amnesia. This type of amnesia is typically caused by a brain blood flow issue. Repeated episodes are possible.
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a brain disorder caused by the lack of B1 vitamin (thiamin) in your brain. Conditions causing a deficiency include:
- eating disorders
- perpetual vomiting
- chronic alcoholism
- severe malnutrition
- chemotherapy effects
- stomach lining inflammation
- extreme morning sickness caused by pregnancy
Symptoms of Korsakoff’s syndrome are:
- lacking insight
- retrograde amnesia
- anterograde amnesia
- little conversational content
- confabulation ~ invented memories
Medications or any other treatment likely won’t restore your amnesia memory loss.
Confusion and absence of facial recognition are clues indicating something’s amiss with the health of your brain. Retrograde, anterograde, dissociative or any type of amnesic memory break needs a medical health evaluation for its causation.