Amnesia refers to lacking memory. In amnesia, our declarative memory gets affected which is important to retain facts and require conscious effort. There are two types of amnesia.

The first one is called anterograde amnesia which is caused due to a disturbance in the step of encoding and consolidation steps of memory processing due to damage to the prefrontal cortex of the brain or hippocampus and ultimately causes inability to form new memories like or example forgetting what happened hour to hour memories of what just happened!

The second type of amnesia is known as retrograde amnesia and it refers to the inability to recall old memories and they have the tendency to forget important people or moments in life and even creating false memories in life known as confabulations and difficulty in placing time due to problem in the storage and retrieval stages of the memory and causes damage to the cortex.


It can be acute or chronic.

Acute cause:

  • Traumatic head wounds
  • Infections

Chronic cause:

  • Brain tumors
  • Neurodegenerative diseases including dementia and Alzheimer’s
  • Thiamine vitamin B1 deficiency called Wernicke- Korsakoff syndrome

Other causes:

  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Psychological trauma is the cause of dissociative amnesia
  • Lack of sleep
  • Stress
  • Alcohol


  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Inability to form new memories
  • Forgetting the events happened just a few hours back
  • Creating false memories
  • Uncoordinated movements and tremors
  • Short term or total memory loss
  • Forgetting their own family and important people in their lives
  • Unable to recognize location or faces


  • HISTORY: by the doctor that includes personal and family history
  • MRI


  • OCCUPATIONAL AND COGNITIVE THERAPIES: includes strategies for organizing and storing new information and helping the patient to learn to manage the day to day life.
  • USING NEW AGE DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY: includes smartphone to set alarms and reminders and by storing photos and videos of family and friends for daily reminders.
  • PSYCHOTHERAPY: is used in dissociative amnesia cases and it helps to process traumatic memories

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