Amnesia

Common Name(s)

Amnesia, Amnestic syndrome

Amnesia is memory loss. Individuals with amnesia, also called amnestic syndrome, have difficulty remembering other people, places, events and experiences in their life. It is rare, however, for a person with amnesia to forget who they are. There are two main types of amnesia: anterograde and retrograde. Anterograde, which is the more common form of amnesia, refers to difficulty learning new information (forming new memories). Retrograde refers to difficulty remembering past events (recalling old memories). Both anterograde and retrograde amnesia can be permanent. A third type of amnesia, transient global, is a temporary form and is discussed in more detail in a separate entry (please also see: transient global amnesia). Symptoms of amnesia include a pattern of forgetfulness, false memories (either made up or misplaced in time), and confusion.

Factors that can increase the risk of, or even cause amnesia include stroke, a lack of oxygen to brain (often caused by a heart attack), brain inflammation, seizures, brain tumors, and degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Alcohol abuse and certain medications also increase the risk of amnesia.

To diagnose amnesia, doctors may first rule out other causes of memory loss such as dementia and depression. They will then collect a medical history, perform physical and cognitive exams, and often will order an MRI or CT of the brain to look for structural abnormalities that may be causing the amnesia. Treatments include occupational therapy to learn techniques for better memory formation as well as technology to help with day-to-day tasks. Individuals with severe amnesia often need supervision. Medication is not available for most types of amnesia. Avoiding behaviors linked to risk factors, such as alcoholism, will lower the risk for amnesia. Contact your doctor to discuss the most current treatment options available.

Source: Advocacy organizations associated with the condition.

 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Amnesia" for support, advocacy or research.

There are currently no organizations listed in Disease InfoSearch that support this condition. Create a listing.

 

 

General Support Organizations

Not finding the support you need? Show General Support Organizations

 
 
Top

How do you compare to others with this condition?

Privately answer questions about your health. Let resources, you select, come to you.

Anonymously share and see how your answers compare with others with this condition while privately providing key pieces of information to medical researchers, disease advocacy groups, and others ONLY YOU select to help speed up cures and better alternatives.

 
 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Amnesia" for support, advocacy or research.

There are currently no organizations listed in Disease InfoSearch that support this condition. Create a listing.

 

 

General Support Organizations

Not finding the support you need? Show General Support Organizations

 
 
 
 
Top

Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Amnesia" returned 411 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

The influence of the hippocampus and declarative memory on word use: Patients with amnesia use less imageable words.
 

Author(s): Caitlin Hilverman, Susan Wagner Cook, Melissa C Duff

Journal: Neuropsychologia. 2017 Nov;106():179-186.

 

Hippocampal functioning contributes to our ability to generate multifaceted, imagistic event representations. Patients with hippocampal damage produce event narratives that contain fewer details and fewer imagistic features. We hypothesized that impoverished memory representations ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

Go To URL
Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome Presenting with Transient Global Amnesia.
 

Author(s): Kenji Isahaya, Kensuke Shinohara, Masashi Akamatu, Takahiro Shimizu, Kenzo Sakurai, Makoto Shiraishi, Hisanao Akiyama, Yasuhiro Hasegawa

Journal: Intern. Med.. 2017 ;56(12):1569-1573.

 

A 65-year-old man who had been diagnosed with transient global amnesia (TGA) 15 years previously was admitted to hospital with complaints of amnesia and headache. His symptoms improved on day-2. The initial brain MRI and electroencephalography findings were normal. He was diagnosed ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

Go To URL
Long-Term Outcome in Patients With Transient Global Amnesia: A Population-Based Study.
 

Author(s): Julieta E Arena, Robert D Brown, Jay Mandrekar, Alejandro A Rabinstein

Journal: Mayo Clin. Proc.. 2017 03;92(3):399-405.

 

To study the long-term risk of cerebrovascular events, seizures, and cognitive impairment in patients with transient global amnesia (TGA).

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

Go To URL

Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Amnesia" returned 37 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Acetylcholine Neuromodulation in Normal and Abnormal Learning and Memory: Vigilance Control in Waking, Sleep, Autism, Amnesia and Alzheimer's Disease.
 

Author(s): Stephen Grossberg

Journal:

 

Adaptive Resonance Theory, or ART, is a neural model that explains how normal and abnormal brains may learn to categorize and recognize objects and events in a changing world, and how these learned categories may be remembered for a long time. This article uses ART to propose and ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

Go To URL
Infantile Amnesia: A Critical Period of Learning to Learn and Remember.
 

Author(s): Cristina M Alberini, Alessio Travaglia

Journal: J. Neurosci.. 2017 Jun;37(24):5783-5795.

 

Infantile amnesia, the inability of adults to recollect early episodic memories, is associated with the rapid forgetting that occurs in childhood. It has been suggested that infantile amnesia is due to the underdevelopment of the infant brain, which would preclude memory consolidation, ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

Go To URL
Remembering Preservation in Hippocampal Amnesia.
 

Author(s): Ian A Clark, Eleanor A Maguire

Journal: Annu Rev Psychol. 2016 ;67():51-82.

 

The lesion-deficit model dominates neuropsychology. This is unsurprising given powerful demonstrations that focal brain lesions can affect specific aspects of cognition. Nowhere is this more evident than in patients with bilateral hippocampal damage. In the past 60 years, the amnesia ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

Go To URL
 
 
Top

Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

There are currently no related results available in Genetics Home Reference.

There are currently no related results available in GeneReviews.

There are currently no related results available in Genetic Testing Registry.

 
 
Top

Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Hippocampal Sclerosis and Amnesia Not Due to Alzheimer's Disease
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Patients With Cognitive Disturbances

 

Last Updated: 18 Oct 2017

Go to URL
Memory Modulation by Pain During Anesthesia
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Amnesia; Pain; Anesthesia

 

Last Updated: 14 Dec 2017

Go to URL
Improvisational Movement for People With Memory Loss and Their Caregivers
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Alzheimer's Disease (Incl Subtypes); Dementia; Mild Cognitive Impairment

 

Last Updated: 14 Feb 2018

Go to URL