Amnesia is a very common disorder seen in old age people. Amnesia is partial or temporary loss of memory during old age. Amnesia is also called as amnesic syndrome caused due to brain disorders. The patients suffering with amnesia are unable to memorise any data due to brain disorders like brain damage and trauma. Amnesia is one of the symptoms of many psychological disorders. Alzheimer’s disease patients show amnesic symptoms. Amnesia leads to either partial or complete memory loss depending on the severity of damage caused to brain. Patients suffering with amnesia experience difficulty in memorising and identifying the people in close relations. The amnesic patients are unable to decide about their future and recollect the past events.
Types of Amnesia
- Anterograde amnesia
Patients suffering with anterograde amnesia cannot recollect events which happened recently. Anterograde amnesia is caused due to brain trauma. The amnesic patients can recollect the information or events which happened before the injury. Anterograde amnesic patients cannot memorise the new information. The new recent information will be stored in short memory instead of long memory. The brain trauma involving hippocampus, mamilliary bodies are known to cause anterograde amnesia.
- Retrograde amnesia
Retrograde amnesia is completely opposite to the anterograde amnesia. The patients suffering with retrograde amnesia can recollect the new recent data easily. Retrograde amnesic patients are unable to recollect the past events occurred before the injury.
- Traumatic amnesia
Traumatic amnesic patients experience memory loss due to a sudden accident or head injury. Accident victims are at high risk of traumatic amnesia. There are few severe cases in which the patient goes into coma. Traumatic amnesia is fatal in few cases based on the severity of injury.
- Dissociative amnesia
Dissociative amnesia does not have a medical background. Dissociative amnesia is not caused due to any medical illness. It is caused due to experiencing violent crimes and grave accident. There are 4 different types of dissociative amnesia based on the severity
1. Generalised amnesia
In generalised amnesia the patient is not able to recollect about his/her entire life.
2. Localised amnesia
Localised amnesia is seen commonly in people who faced physical abuse. The localised amnesic patients are unable to recollect about the incident and crime. The complete loss of memory of the traumatic accident is seen in localised amnesic patients.
3. Selective amnesia
Selective amnesic patient can recollect only few parts of the traumatic event. The complete incident cannot be recollected by the patient due to the injury
4. Systemized amnesia
Systemized amnesia is not restricted to a specific event. The systemized amnesic patients face loss of memory of any specified event in their life.
- Transient global amnesia or Global amnesia
Global amnesia is common in males of 50-80 years of age. The people with transient global amnesia are often confused and unable to concentrate. During global amnesia the patient is unable to recall the personal information, recent visuals and verbal conversations. The common symptoms seen in global amnesic patients along with memory loss are vomiting, headache and dizziness. Memory loss in transient global amnesia patients does not last for more than a day. It is a form of short term memory loss which does not last long.
- Hysterical amnesia
Hysterical amnesia is a very rare disorder seen in patients who are unable to cope up with the mental stress of any specified issue. Hysterical amnesia can cause either temporary or permanent memory loss. The patients suffering with hysterical amnesia cannot recollect their own identity. The individual’s identity becomes a stranger for his own self and will not be able to recognise him in the mirror. The patient suffering with hysterical amnesia faces many problems in his / her personal and professional life.
- Wernike-Korsakoff’s psychosis amnesia
Wernike-korsakoff’s psychosis is a condition caused due to alcohol addiction. People consuming more than required amount of alcohol are more prone to wernike-korsakoff’s psychosis a type of memory loss. The patient situation gets worse over time due to continuous alcohol consumption. Patients suffering with wernike korsakoffs psychosis are more prone to other neurological problems.
- Infantile or childhood amnesia
In infantile amnesia, patients are unable to recollect early childhood events. In few cases the memory loss is due to poor development of brain during childhood.
- Source amnesia
The source amnesia as the name itself suggests, the person can recollect the information but he is unable to recall the source. Patient is unable to recollect from where he/she received the information.
- Posthypnotic amnesia
Hypnosis is a therapy advised to few patients to relax and recollect the events of life. The memory loss during hypnosis is referred to as posthypnotic amnesia.
- Blackout amnesia
Memory loss due to heavy or excessive drinking is called blackout amnesia. Blackout amnesia is seen mostly in people who are alcohol addicts
Prosopamnesia patients are unable to recollect faces and identify them. Few patients are born with this kind of memory loss.
Memory loss is caused due to any disease affecting brain. The major causes of memory loss and amnesia are:
- Brain inflammation
- Brain tumour
- Oxygen deprivation
- Head injury
Symptoms of amnesia
The common symptoms of amnesia include the following
- Neurological problems
- Short term memory
- Inability to recognise faces
- Inability to recollect events
Amnesia can be cured by natural home remedies in the initial stages.
- Almonds – inhaling almond oil helps in treating brain weakness. The almonds are known to recover memory loss.
- Walnuts – eating walnuts daily helps in avoiding the brain weakness and increase the immunity.
- Apple – Eating an apple a day along with honey and milk is beneficial for treating memory loss.
- Cumin – Cumin seeds in combination with honey is good for memory loss treatment.
- Black pepper – black pepper powder with honey should be eaten twice a day for better results in treating amnesia.
- Rosemary – Rosemary herb is a best remedy for treating forgetfulness in patients suffering with amnesia.
Amnesia can be treated either with natural remedies or medication. The patients are advised to include a healthy diet and regular exercise and meditation activities in their daily routine. Healthy diet in combination with a healthy routine helps in tackling frequent memory loss and forgetfulness.