Amnesia - what is it? Causes and symptoms of amnesia
Sometimes it's human to forget some things. Thus, our brain protects itself from excess information. This situation is a variant of the norm. However, in some cases, the loss of memories is the main symptom of such a disease as amnesia. What is memory loss, what are the main causes of this condition?
Memory. General information
The human brain has a huge potential. Due to its functionality, we are able to perform meaningful actions, build logical chains, analyze a large amount of information. Man is characterized by such complex mental processes as thinking, memory. Memory is the ability to save, restore, under certain conditions, the data that was previously received. Thus, a person acquires life experience, learns knowledge, improves his skills and abilities. There are several types of memory: sensory, emotional, motor, verbal and semantic. Due to certain circumstances in life, a person may lose the ability to remember and restore events that occurred before.
Amnesia - what is it?
This disease can also occur in the elderly( brain degradation over time), and in fairly young patients. With partial loss of memory, only certain images, scraps, recreate a complete picture of the events are rather difficult. It is worth noting that such a process can develop slowly or come dramatically. In a number of cases, the memory is completely returned - this is the so-called short-term amnesia. The remaining patients lose the ability to restore events from the past forever. The loss of memory significantly affects the emotional state of the patient, he constantly needs support and care.
Types of amnesia. Symptoms of the disease
Depending on the symptoms, there are several types of the disease. Retrograde form is characterized by the fact that the patient is unable to remember what happened before the illness. Antegrade amnesia is the inability to restore recent events. In this case, a person well remembers everything that was before the disease. With this diagnosis, the patient has difficulty learning new information. There is also post-traumatic amnesia. What does this diagnosis mean? As a rule, short-term memory is broken. Associate this state with all kinds of head injuries. With this type of amnesia, the patient does not remember the events that occurred immediately before the injury. However, the correct treatment completely restores the functionality of the brain. There is also post-hypnotic amnesia, in which everything that happens under hypnosis is erased from memory.
Other types of amnesia and their symptoms
Specialists distinguish other types of memory loss. Children's amnesia is typical for every person. Few can recall events from early childhood. The reason for this phenomenon is called the immaturity of some parts of the brain in toddlers. With fixative amnesia, the patient is poorly oriented in space, self. This type of disease is typical for patients with Korsakov's syndrome. The initial loss of memory is a condition in which a person owns certain information, but can not recall its source, the conditions for obtaining data.
There is also dissociative amnesia. What happens to the person in this case? The patient forgets the moments from the past period, ceases to recognize familiar things, understand the usual words. With a dissociative variety, a person can completely forget all information about himself. This state lasts for several minutes and a couple of days. Often with this diagnosis, patients associate themselves with other individuals. There is also alcohol amnesia. It arises as a result of excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. Often this is the first sign of the development of alcoholism.
Transient global amnesia
It is rare that a patient suddenly loses a short-term memory. At the same time, the ability to assess the situation is disrupted, the person is completely at a loss. Transient amnesia is most common in older people. The reasons for this state are little known. Specialists note that the loss of memories can lead to such attacks, a violation of cerebral circulation, dysfunction of the thalamus, orbitofrontal cortex, cingulate gyrus. This attack can last from several minutes to a couple of hours. Then the memory also returns abruptly. A more complex form of the disease is characterized by long dips in memory-up to several days.
Classification of the disease depending on the rate of progression of
Depending on how fast memories are erased, these types of amnesia are distinguished:
- The progressive form of is characterized by a gradual loss of memory, and memories from childhood or adolescence are more recent than recent events. As a rule, a person remembers his skills and knowledge quite well. Gradually, all the memories are mixed, their emotional color fades.
- Fixed amnesia symptoms is as follows: there is a persistent loss of memory for a number of events, with time, changes do not occur. Regressing amnesia is temporary, memories almost always come back.
Main causes of memory loss
Any head injury( especially the temporal part) can lead to amnesia. Great emotional upheavals, psychological trauma sometimes cause loss of memories. Factors that increase the risk of amnesia include a severe form of fatigue, permanent migraines, a number of infectious diseases, as well as advanced age. Specialists note that intoxication, poisoning( including medical drugs) can have a very negative impact on the state of memory. Amnesia of the cause can have such: schizophrenia, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease. Malignant formations in the brain often lead to memory loss. Also, any circulatory disturbances in the head region can provoke amnesia.
Alcoholic amnesia is caused by excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. Under the influence of alcohol, the transmission of nerve impulses is disrupted. An easy form of memory loss is called alcohol palimpsest. At the same time, the person remembers the main events, but he is unable to restore memories of small details and episodes. However, if alcohol abuse continues, then partial amnesia can develop into a total, in which memory is lost permanently.
Methods for diagnosis and treatment of memory loss
First of all, the diagnosis is based on a thorough questioning and examination of the patient. Further it is necessary to conduct an examination of the state of the vessels of the head and neck. A computer or magnetic resonance imaging of the brain is prescribed. Treatment, as a rule, complex. If the primary cause is the emotional component, then sessions of psychotherapy are shown. They are aimed at overcoming all kinds of psychological trauma. Medicines are also prescribed: antidepressants, biostimulants, B vitamins, etc. In some cases, hypnosis helps to restore memory. With alcoholic amnesia it is necessary to completely eliminate the use of alcoholic beverages.