Amnesia ( loss of memory )
Encyclopedia Symptoms / / April 23, 2016
Alternative names: amnesia;amnestic syndrome;forgetfulness;impaired memory
Loss of memory (amnesia) - this is an unusual forgetfulness, where the sick person can not be able to remember new events, and sometimes - the events of the past.
Normal aging can cause some forgetfulness.It is normal for an aging man - have some problems in the study of new material, or need more time to remember it.
However, normal aging does not lead to significant loss of memory, amnesia.Such memory loss occurs as a result of disease.Sometimes serious loss of memory may be associated with depression.Sometimes it can be difficult to see the difference between memory loss and confusion of consciousness due to depression.
Some types of memory loss may lead to the fact that the patient may forget the very recent new events or distant events, or a combination of both at once - something one or all.Memory loss can lead to problems with learning new information or the formation of new memories.
Memory loss may be tempora
Causes of memory loss (amnesia)
Memory loss can be caused by many different factors, reasons.In order to determine the cause of the memory loss, the doctor or nurse may ask the relatives of the patient, the problem occurred suddenly or gradually formed.
With many areas of the brain the patient creates and retrieves memories.Health problems any of these areas can result in loss of memory.
main causes of memory loss - the following:
- use of alcohol or illegal drugs;
- lack of oxygen in the brain (the heart stops, the person stops breathing, there are complications from anesthesia);
- tumor or infection of the brain;
- brain infection such as: Lyme disease, syphilis, HIV / AIDS;
- brain surgery - e.g., surgery for the treatment of epilepsy;
- treatment of different types of cancer - such as brain irradiation, bone marrow transplantation, chemotherapy, etc .;
- some medicines;
- certain types of seizures;
- depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia when symptoms are poorly controlled;
- dissociative disorder in which a person is unable to remember important events (memory loss, there may be short term or long term);
- drugs - such as barbiturates or benzodiazepines;
- electroconvulsive therapy (especially if it is long-term);
- any type encephalitis (infection, autoimmune disease, etc.);
- epilepsy, which is not well controlled with medication;
- head injury or other trauma;
- heart bypass surgery;
- diseases that lead to loss of or damage to nerve cells (neurodegenerative diseases) - such as for example Parkinson's disease (idiopathic Parkinson's syndrome, shaking palsy), Huntington's disease (Huntington's syndrome, Huntington's chorea or Huntington's disease), multiple sclerosis;
- long-term abuse of alcohol;
- mild head injury or concussion;
- food problems (lack of vitamins - such as vitamin B12);
- permanent damage or brain trauma;
- the transition to a global amnesia;
- transient ischemic attack (TIA).
amnesia treatment and home care
person with memory loss need a lot of support and help - you need to show it again he knew people, familiar objects, photos and more.
Relatives of the person you want to record, when he had to take any medicine or to complete any other important tasks.
If a person needs help with everyday tasks, security or power, if all of this there is a problem, it can be considered as long-term care institutions option - such as nursing homes, hospitals.
doctor or nurse will perform a diagnostic examination and may ask questions about the patient's loved ones - family and friends - about his medical history and symptoms.
Questions may be, for example, are:
- the type of memory loss;
- whether people remember recent events (yes or no short-term memory loss);
- whether a person can remember the events of the distant past (yes or no long-term memory loss);
- whether the patient memory loss is associated with events that occurred before a given situation (anterograde amnesia);
- whether memory loss is associated with the events that occurred soon after a specific situation (retrograde amnesia);
- whether there is only minimal memory loss;
- what happened to the man to gaps in memory;
- whether the person is often suffering from amnesia, is in a bad mood, which can impair concentration;
- chart of memory loss of time;
- whether memory loss is intensified for many years;
- memory loss develops in: a few days, weeks or months;
- whether permanent or memory loss are some of its episodes;
- if you have episodes of amnesia, how long they last;
- what the aggravating or triggering factors of amnesia;
- whether the patient a recent head injury;
- whether a patient event that was emotionally traumatic for him;
- whether the patient's surgery or procedure requiring general anesthesia;
- whether a person drinks alcohol;if so - how much;
- whether the person uses illegal drugs, how much, what kind of drugs;
- which still have symptoms;
- disoriented and confused among a person familiar things and the environment;
- whether the patient independently eat, dress and carry yourself, without assistance, various activities;
- whether the patient's seizures.
tests that can be done include:
- blood tests for specific diseases that may be suspected (eg, thyroid disease, etc.);
- cerebral angiography;
- cognitive (psychometric, neuropsychological) tests;
- CT or MRI of the head;
- lumbar (low back) puncture.
Cognitive therapy - usually through a speech therapist - can be useful for mild to moderate memory loss.