Amnesia: A Mental Disorder of Forgetting Things

Various kinds of traumatic events and incidents inside a person's headspace are mainly responsible for giving birth to the chances of forgetting things. It mainly occurs, for example, when a person forgets an event that has had a huge impact on him/her, both in a good and bad scenario. The person then cannot remember the incident and anything related to that particular incident at all. An example would be an individual forgetting a disastrous or fatal bike accident involving his/her loved ones. This incident is referred to as Amnesia.

What is Amnesia?

Amnesia is mainly referred to as the phenomenon related to a drastic loss in memory, as in, one might forget personal experiences of any things and data and information regarding anything. People with Amnesia are referred to as Amnestic Syndrome. These kinds of people usually at least know about their existence and who they are, but they have serious issues when they overcome new information or any new experiences. Thus, Amnesia does not help them to form and store new memories.

Types of Amnesia

Based on the different categories and characteristics observed within a person, Amnesia could be of 7 different types. These are −

  • Retrograde Amnesia − This type of Amnesia mainly affects the recently formed or created memories at the very first stage. Then, the older and childhood memories are also affected, but gradually. Dementia is a good example of Retrograde Amnesia.

  • Anterograde Amnesia − Here, new memories are not created. The effect of this type of Amnesia might or might not be temporary. The hippocampus portion of the brain plays a major part here, as it is mainly responsible for forming new memories.

  • Transient Global Amnesia − Here, frequent and random agitation or confusion is formed. It goes on in a manner of a continuous process. It occurs as a result of a temporary blockage of the brain's blood vessels. Middle-aged and older people are mainly victims of this type of Amnesia.

  • Infantile or Childhood Amnesia − Here, most people cannot remember the beginning phase of his/her life starting from 3 or 5 years of age. As it mostly deals with deleting the childhood memories of a person, this is why it is mainly referred to as Childhood Amnesia.

  • Dissociative Amnesia − Here, an individual cannot remember the important information about his/herself, likely, someone's name, personal history, existence, friends or family, etc.

  • Post−traumatic Amnesia − People hospitalized for a traumatic brain injury mostly experience this kind of Amnesia. It may occur after a period of certain unconsciousness. This kind of Amnesia may last for less than 1 hour or more than one day, depending on the weightage of the trauma the person experienced.

  • Drug−induced Amnesia − This type of Amnesia mainly occurs when a person intakes drugs in the form of addition and also in the form of medications. Excess usage of sedatives, likely Zolpidem, Alprazolam, or Rohypnol, is mainly responsible for this kind of Amnesia.

Symptoms of Amnesia

The basic and primary symptom of Amnesia is memory loss or the inability to create and form new memories. Confusion, Confabulation where the brain of an individual subconsciously discovers false memories to fill in the gaps of the memory, failed ability to recognize faces of beloved people or any data or any location, impaired ability to learn new data and information and issues in recalling events, places, facts, data, information, or any other specific details are some of the major symptoms a person or an individual faces if he/she is suffering from Amnesia.

Causes of Amnesia

There are plenty of chances to give rise to the conditions of Amnesia. As a result, it can be said that Amnesia does have tendencies to increase in case the person has gone through Stroke, Seizures, Alcohol abuse, Head injury, psychotic trauma, and brain surgery.

Numerous brain regions are involved in healthy memory function, and memory impairment may result from any brain disorder or injury. Damage to the brain regions that make up the limbic system, which governs emotions and memories, can cause Amnesia. These parts of the brain include the hippocampal formations, located in the temporal lobes, and the thalamus, located deep inside your brain's core. Neurological Amnesia is Amnesia brought on by damage to or injury to the brain.

Therefore, the possible causes of Amnesia are −

  • Lack of sufficient amount of oxygen in the brain.

  • Tumors on the surface of the brain.

  • Seizures in the brain.

  • Long−term usage of alcohol and getting addicted to it.

  • Brain inflammation.

Causes of Amnesia

  • Lack of sufficient amount of oxygen in the brain
  • Tumors on the surface of the brain
  • Seizures in the brain
  • Brain inflammation
  • Long - term usage of alcohol

Brain Chemistry in Amnesia

Damage to the brain regions comprising the limbic system, which governs your emotions and memories, can cause amnesia. These parts of your brain include the hippocampal formations, located in the temporal lobes, and the thalamus, located deep inside your brain's core. The common belief that de novo protein synthesis is necessary for creating long-lasting memories is significantly supported by the amnesia brought on by protein synthesis inhibitors like anisomycin. However, the disruption of other cerebral processes brought on by protein synthesis suppression might impair memory formation. Rats assessed 48 hours after receiving intraamygdala injections of anisomycin during inhibitory avoidance training had decreased memory. At the site of anisomycin infusions, the release of norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA), and serotonin surged rapidly by 1,000-17,000%, much exceeding the levels seen under normal circumstances.


It has been observed that Amnesia is a very vital issue that needs to be mitigated as soon as it is identified with or within a person. Even minor Amnesia has an impact on everyday activities and quality of life. Amnesia ranges in intensity and extent. The syndrome can lead to issues in the workplace, in the classroom, and social contexts. Limiting alcohol consumption. Damage to the brain can be a fundamental cause of forgetfulness, and it is crucial to take precautions to decrease the possibility of a brain injury. Any infection should be treated early to prevent it from spreading to the brain. If an individual experiences any signs of a stroke or brain aneurysms, such as a strong headache, one-sided numbness, or paralysis, he/she should seek emergency medical attention. These are some of the major mitigative measures that can be adopted to prevent the expansion possibility of Amnesia within a person.