Amnesia in Patients
Amnesiarefers to a condition that make people lose their ability to recallor memorize facts stored in the brain. However, individuals who arelittle forgetful may not have amnesia. Amnesia is associated withloss of memories in large scale. Complex brain processes are involvedduring the recollection of experiences and events. Individuals’diagnosed with amnesia tend to struggle when imagining the future(Kumar, Ramesh, &, Swaminaidu, 2013). Most amnesia patients havea sense of self and are lucid. The patients may struggle to learn newinformation or recall experience or memories. The paper discusses thetypes, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of amnesia in patients.
Patientswith amnesia show various symptoms. The patient’s ability toremember previous information or events, and learn new informationdecreases. False memories, which may be newly invented or amisplacement of the real memories are associated with amnesia.Patients may also show uncoordinated movements and some neurologicalproblems (Juola, & Koshina, 2017). Moreover, amnesia causesconfusion and disorientation among the patients. Total or partialmemory loss is witnessed in patients with amnesia. In most cases, thepatients may fail to identify faces or places because they encounterdifficulties to connect the previous and present information.
Diseasesor any injury that affects the limbic system of the brain causesamnesia. Memories and emotions are controlled by the brain structuressuch as thalamus and hippocampus that make up the limbic system. Manycomponents of the brain must be engaged simultaneously for the memoryto function (Kumar, Ramesh, &, Swaminaidu, 2013). Braininflammation, which may be caused by an autoimmune reaction or viralinfection leads to amnesia. Oxygen deprivation also causes amnesia.Various situations or illness may deprive the brain of oxygen. Thesupply of oxygen is affected when patients experience respiratorydistress, heart attack, or carbon monoxide poisoning. Moreover, sometreatments such as electroconvulsive therapy that are subjected topatients causes memory loss. Psychiatric treatment induces seizuresin patients, which transform to amnesia. Furthermore, theinterference with the psychology of patients can result in emotionalshock. Several situations and events such as child abuse, involvementin combat, terrorist acts, and sexual abuse cause amnesia. Patientsneed to be subjected to an environment that does not cause otherinfections such as amnesia.
Amnesiacan be categorized into different forms that affect patients.Anterograde amnesia hinders the ability of patients to recall newinformation. The short-term memory stores new information, whichindividuals are likely to remember easily. Patients with anterogradeamnesia loss the short-term memory, but recall events that occurredbefore the injury (Juola, & Koshina, 2017). Many infections suchas brain trauma cause anterograde amnesia. Retrograde amnesia isanother category that affects the long-term memory of patients.Events and things that occurred before the patients experiencedtrauma are lost and may no longer be recalled. Anterograde andretrograde amnesia are said to occur together in most cases.Moreover, hysterical amnesia involves patients forgetting both theiridentity and past. The brain of patients may not cope properly withspecific events. Hysterical amnesia affects the memories of patientsand hinders their ability to connect events and things. Furthermore,patients can experience childhood amnesia (Kumar, Ramesh, &,Swaminaidu, 2013). Individuals diagnosed with childhood amnesia areunable to remember things that happened from childhood. Languagedevelopment is affected by the childhood amnesia because some partsof the brain may have been immature during childhood.
Doctorsare required to investigate and identify the contributor of thepatient’s memory loss at initial stages of the diagnosis. Doctorsrule out other diseases such as dementia that have similar symptomsusing a medical history about the patient (Juola, & Koshina,2017). During diagnosis of amnesia, patients are given chances toexplain their medical details. Caregivers and family members may givea detailed medical history of patients who may not remember previousevents and things. Moreover, the physicians may carry out physicalexaminations that evaluate the patient’s sensory function, balance,reflexes, and other brain aspects. The patient’s short-memory,judgment, and long-term memory are also checked (Kumar, Ramesh, &,Swaminaidu, 2013). Brain scans are performed to investigate thedegree of memory loss. The scans help in suggesting the type oftreatment that should be subjected to the patient. The diagnosis mayinvolve blood tests to identify any infections.
Many types of amnesia resolve themselves without implementation ofany treatment. However, treatment is compulsory if mental or physicaldisorders are identified. Some patients regain their memory afterbeing subjected to psychotherapy. Techniques are used during therapyto help in the retrieval of memories and the development of newretrieval paths. Coping mechanisms such as the use of reminders arealso used during the treatment to support the amnesia patients(Juola, & Koshina, 2017). Family support is promoted tofacilitate the recovery of the patients. Individuals with amnesia areassigned an occupational therapist who assists them to recover lostmemories and acquire new information.
Inconclusion, amnesia is a condition that involves loss of memory.Patients with amnesia should be subjected to the relevant treatmentto ensure that they regain their memory. Diagnosis is necessarybefore treatment because it helps to identify the causes of theinfection. Cases of amnesia have recently increased, and appropriatemeasures need to be implemented to prevent further harm.
Juola, J. F., & Koshina, H. (2017). Cognitive psychology.
Kumar, R. D., Ramesh, V., &, Swaminaidu, P. (2013). A review onamnesia: International journal of allied medical sciences andclinical research.
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