Amnesia


Amnesia is a mental disorder where the functioning of the individual’s memory is directly affected. In amnesia, the patient partially or totally loses their memory, not even recognizing themselves; According to its cause, amnesia can be transient, progressive or permanent, memory impairment can be accompanied by damage to the senses or cognitive perceptions. The origin of the word amnesia comes from the Greek “amnesia” and this disorder can be caused by different factors:

  • Organic: this is caused by an injury to the brain tissue, organic injuries include the development of a brain tumor, chemotherapy treatment that affects the nervous system, head trauma from falls, contusions, bullet impacts, etc. Within this group is the decrease in brain oxygen due to respiratory, cardiac, blood or circulatory failure, progressive damage to neuronal tissue (Parkinson’s disease), among other brain conditions.
  • Functional: there is no direct injury to brain tissue but its function, amnesia can be linked to different mental disorders such as: depression, bipolar disorder, stress, schizophrenia and other psychiatric injuries. This group includes memory loss due to the consumption of different substances such as: drugs, anticonvulsants, electroshock therapies, low consumption of vitamins, etc.

According to how memory loss is triggered, several types of amnesia can be mentioned, such as:

  • Anterograde: new memory is lost, that is, the individual does not have the ability to retain totally recent information but can remember facts or events that happened many years ago, in other words, it only handles long-term memory, this is the case of those with Alzheimer’s.
  • Retrograde: The person can only handle information about totally recent or new events, they do not have the ability to remember events that have already happened, this would be the opposite of anterograde amnesia.
  • Lacunar: The individual handles recent and old information, however, he tends not to remember specific events without following any type of pattern, that is, he spontaneously loses memories that may or may not be new.