Amnesia is a temporary medical condition in which a person cannot remember information stored in the brain. It could be a partial or complete ‘loss of memory’. This disturbance happens to the information stored in the long term memory. Person with amnesia cannot remember happenings in the past but can remember recent past or vice versa. Depending on the severity of the condition, amnesia may last for few days or few months.
Amnesia happens may be due to mental trauma caused by brain damage due to head injuries in accidents, any emotional shock, continuous use of sedative drugs, chronic alcoholism etc. There are various kinds of amnesia depending on what events cannot be remembered. The most common types are anterograde and retrograde amnesia. Persons affected by anterograde cannot remember the current happenings after the incidence that caused amnesia. Retrograde amnesia causes loss of memory of things that happened before the onset of the disease.
Storing memories is a very complex process involving many regions of the brain. Chemical and physical processes in the frontal, temporal and parietal lobes cause the storage of information. The frontal lobe is at the front of the brain. This area receives information from various lobes of the body and carries out body movements. The parietal lobe is located in the middle section of the brain that processes body’s senses. The temporal lobe is located at the bottom section of the brain where the hippocampus is located. The hippocampus is a small curved formation that is associated with the formation of new memories. Damage to any of these lobes could result in the loss of memory.
There is no accurate treatment for amnesia. But on medication, improvements do occur when there is enough support from the society he lives in.