Amnesia / Impaired Memory / Loss Of Memory

Amnesia refers to the partial or complete memory loss.It is often a temporary condition and person forgets only a part of his or her experience e.g. loss of all memories of childhood, or any past incidence like marriage, can’t recognize family members names or relation etc.

amnesia

 

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A person loses the ability to remember events and information that they would regularly do.Some people experience difficulty recalling events that happened or facts; another experience inability to learn new facts or train new memories. This condition can last for two hours or sometimes two months or even more.

How To Classify Amnesia

Anterograde amnesia: Inability to remember ongoing events after the incidence of trauma or the onset of the disease.

Retrograde amnesia: Inability to remember events that occurred before the incidence of trauma or the onset of the disease.

Dissociative amnesia: Inability to remember vital personal information. It is commonly seen in individuals who have witnessed a violent crime or a grave accident and does not occur due to a medical illness.

Wernike-Korsakoffs psychosis: It is a progressive disorder caused due to chronic alcoholism.

Traumatic amnesia: Brain damage caused by a severe non-penetrative blow to the head such as in a road accident leading to loss of consciousness for few seconds to come and may result in memory gaps from minutes and weeks.

Infantile/childhood amnesia: Inability to recognize or recall events from early childhood is known as infantile amnesia.It is assumed that this happens due to immaturity in the certain area of the brain in very early stages.

Transient global amnesia: Spontaneous memory loss that can last from a minute to several hours, usually seen in middle age to elder people.It is usually present in people with emotional stress, strenuous physical exertion, ischemic attack, or a mini-stroke, or a migraine.

Hysterical (fugue) amnesia: Its a very rare phenomenon; person forgets not only past but even their own identity.

Posthypnotic amnesia: Events that occur during hypnosis cannot be recalled.

Source amnesia: The person can remember certain information, but does not know how or where they put that information.

Prosopamnesia: The person cannot remember face. People can either acquire prosopamnesia or be born with it.

Blackout phenomenon:
Causes by a bout of heavy drinking, the person cannot remember chunks of time during his binge.

What Causes Amnesia ?

• Stroke
• Brain inflammation
• Wernicke-korsakoff syndrome
• Mental Shock
• Anxiety or depression
• Encephalitis
• Tumors of the thalamus or hypothalamus
• Alcoholism
• Lack of adequate oxygen in the brain
• Disease of the thyroid
• Tumors in the area of the brain that control memory
• Alzheimer’s diseases
• Seizures
• Brain surgery, head injury or trauma
• Dementia
• Environmental toxins
• Nutritional deficiency
• Low estrogen levels during menopause
• Low or high level of glucose

Amnesia Signs and Symptoms

• Partial or total memory loss.
• Temporary or permanent memory loss.
• Forgetting own identity including name, age, family etc.
• Inability to recognize familiar faces and streets.
• Tremors or seizures.
• Disorientated or confusion.
• Difficulty learning new things.
• There may be a headache, dizziness or nausea.
• Abnormal behavior or emotions.
• Intolerance to noise
• Inability to concentrate

Investigations for Amnesia

• Complete case history.
• Physical examination.
• Interview family and friends.
• Blood test.
• Cognitive tests.
• Electroencephalogram.
• CT and MRI scans.
• Lumbar puncture.

Is There Any Treatment For Amnesia?

• Occupational therapy.
• Technological assistance.
• Proper nutrition.
• Thiamin treatment in case of Wernicke-korsakoff syndrome.
• Vitamin replacing therapy.
• Neurotransmitters.
• Prophylactic treatment according to symptoms.

Prognosis of Amnesia

Prognosis of amnesia depends on the age and situations and the individuals’ response to treatment. For some people, memory returns with time making the overall prognosis good but in some cases, individuals never retrieve their buried memories.

Changing Lifestyle Help Amnesia

• Yoga and meditation help in concentration.
• Acupuncture and acupressure can treat amnesia.
• Eat an apple with one teaspoon of honey and one cup of milk.
• Include diet that is rich in vitamin E.
• Psychotherapy helps in ameliorating the symptoms.
• Be regular with medication and follow-ups.
• Stay well organized and follow a routine.
• Keep full address and contact number with you when going out.
• Always make a chit regarding where are you going and keep it in your bag/ purse.
• Use colorful tags or wristbands with an activity you were supposed to do or a destination where you wanted to reach.
• If possible always ask someone to accompany you.
• Do one thing at a time to focus better.
• Take adequate rest and sleep.
• Enjoy work and avoid stressful situations.
• Avoid excess of alcohol.
• Wear protective headgear’s when engaged in certain activities.
• Wear a seat belt when driving.
• Treat any infection quickly so that it doesn’t spread to the brain.

What Are The Complications of Amnesia

• Problem at work or school.
• Recognizing different places/ people/ names etc.

Homeopathic treatment for Amnesia

Arnica Montana:
• Concussion, bruising or a hematoma accompanies the concussion.
• The patient is conscious is that the afflicted will profess that he is well and need no care.
• He may recoil from efforts to examine him or touch him.
• He may be sleepy, going in and out of the stupor, if the asked question will answer correctly then to go back to sleep.
• The face may be hot while rest of the body is cold, patient with chronic after-effects of head injury.

Cicuta virosa:
• Post-concussion spasms, seizures, and amnesia or behavior disorders.
• There may be opisthotonos, jerking of the head to one side and twitching of the various parts, such as arms and fingers.
• Spasms more violently downwards accompanied by sudden shocks through the body or head, followed by rigidity or shrieking and then prolonged unconsciousness.
• There may be facial distortions or bloody foam from the mouth and then prostration.
• The spasms are stimulated by touch, by noise or loud talking.
• Amnesia from what has occurred from hours or days and does not recognize anybody, but answers questions well.
• The person tells this is a terrible and strange place and confuses the present with past.
• There is a display of strange behavior such as shouting, singing, silly gestures, dancing, moaning, howling and crying.
• The patient may fall to the ground and roll around with or without a seizure.

Helleborus niger:
• There are delayed and dulled reaction to sensory input such as vision, hearing, and taste.
• A person has lost contralateral side, may roll, strike the head or bore it into the pillow.
• There may be a sensation as if water were swishing inside the head.
• There may be cephalalgia like electric shocks that pass through the brain, followed by spasm and vomiting.

Natrium sulphuricum:
• Treats clinical depression, following a concussion, especially when there is suicidal ideation of shooting one.
• Personality changes are characteristics such as irritability, confusion, especially depression and suicidal thoughts.
• It can also treat asthma, headache or epilepsy following concussion when the other medicines in this section are not appropriate.

Opium:
• Indicated for coma from head injury stertorous respiration’s and contracted or dilated pupils that may not react to light.
• It is also used for comatose patients who are lightheaded has a placid and apathetic affect and are indifferent even to pain.
• The patient is dreamy, slow, with dull cognition; the desire to go home, even though he or she is at home.
• The patient may demonstrate carphology and errors in perception and other symptoms include glassy, half closed and staring eyes a hot head and severe constipation.

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