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Free «Causes/kinds of amnesia» Essay Sample

Amnesia is very critical disease which brings a lot of change not only to the victim but also to the members of society (Malloy 76). This paper takes critical analysis of amnesia, its causes, type and treatment in a bid to have an in depth knowledge of the disease. Amnesia is a medical condition where an individual is faced with inability to recall an event or information stored in his or her subconscious mind. People suffering from amnesia are faced with inability to imagine the future, because our creation of future events is closely related to our memories of past events and experiences.

Causes of amnesia

Organic causes of amnesia comprise of  injury to the brain, through physical impact, neurological illness or the abuse of sedative drugs. On the other hand, functional causes of amnesia are characterized by psychological features; for example, mental illness, post-traumatic strain. Amnesia can also come out as impulsive occurrences, in the case of transient global amnesia.

Types and nature of amnesia

Anterograde amnesia is a type of amnesia which occurs as a result of  brain trauma and is normally distinguished by the incapacity to recall new information. In addition, it is difficult for a victim to recall current experiences since he or she experiences fading memory. However, a victim can remember the happenings prior to the trauma with a lot of clarity.



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Retrograde amnesia is a type of amnesia where the patient can only remember activities that took place after trauma, but can never recall previous similar occurrences or events which occurred before the trauma.

Hysterical or fugue amnesia. Hysterical or fugue amnesia is a condition which is normally distinguished by traumatic occurrence that the person’s brain cannot properly handle. Normally, the memory gradually or suddenly goes back a few days later, while memory of the trauma itself can still stay on.

Infantile or childhood amnesia

Infantile or childhood amnesia is an individual’s inability to remember occurrences from his or her early childhood (Sharma 1).

Posthypnotic amnesia is a condition when events which took place at the moment of  hypnosis are forgotten, or when past events cannot be recalled by the victim.

Causes of Amnesia

According to Parkin, “any form of illness or injury that cause injury and infection to the brain can cause hindrance  with the details of memory” (Parkin 12). The memory operation employs several different parts of the brain concurrently. Injury to the brain structures that make the limbic system, hippocampus and thalamus is responsible for amnesia. It should be noted that  limbic operation controls human emotions and memories (Sharma 1).

Causes of neurological or organic amnesia

Neurological or organic amnesia refers to amnesia caused by brain injury or damage. The possible causes are as follows:

v  The occurrence of a stroke.

v  Encephalitis which is brain inflammation. This condition is caused by a viral infection; for instance, herpes simplex (HSV), or an autoimmune response to cancer in another part of the body.

v  Oxygen deprivation in the brain – any condition that reduces supply of oxygen to the brain, such as heart attack, respiratory problem or carbon monoxide poisoning.

v  Subarachnoid hemorrhage – brain bleeding in the part of the head between the skull and the brain is quite dangerous and may result into amnesia.

v  Brain tumor which occurs in a memory nerves.

v  Occurrence of head injuries, for instance, those that take place in car accidents, can result in memory loss.

Causes of functional or psychogenic amnesia

Functional amnesia is mainly caused by an individual emotional shock which can be as a result of injuries from a violent crime, sexual abuse and child abuse. In addition, when an individual is  involved in combat such as war (Wilkins 11).

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Symptoms of amnesia

v  Unorganized movements, such as tremors.

v  Confusion or disorientation of an individual.

v  Challenges as a result of short-term memory.

v  An individual indicates partial loss of ability to recall events.

v  An individual shows total loss of memory.

v  An individual fails to recognize human faces.

v  An individual shows inability to identify places.

Treatment of amnesia

Psychotherapy is very helpful for many people suffering from amnesia, particularly those people with amnesia that results from  emotional distress (Neiderman 64). For instance, hypnosis is an effective method of returning memories that had been forgotten. Family help and support  are quite critical in helping a victim of amnesia to get well. Putting a victim of amnesia to a reality orientation program is very important in helping  him or her feel at ease. Hospitalization may not necessarily be the best method to follow in treating amnesia, unless the victim is at a great risk of harming himself or herself or even others. At the moment there are no drugs for  treating human memory loss. However, the use of a drug called Amytal is controversial. The medicine helps many people return their lost memories.Occupational Therapy

  • Making the victim learn new information so as to replace what had been lost.
  • It also involves a variety of methods which are geared towards organizing information.Technological Assistance

The use of technology to boost an individual memory can also be used to treat amnesia, although it is not very effective (Mastrian 43).

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Medications or Supplements

The use of Amytal as supplements is not effective since it has not been authenticated. In this regard, a medication which is based on psychotherapy is quite critical in the treatment of amnesia. In conclusion, amnesia is very dangerous illness which should be prevented by all means. In this regard, all strategies should be put in place to ensure that there is a reduction of the number of people suffering from amnesia.


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