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Amnesia: A loss of memories, past, present and future

Imagine not knowing who you are, where you are, what happened to you or anything about your past? That's one extreme example, but that's what it would be like if you suffered from certain forms of amnesia. Amnesia occurs when a person can't recall or memorize information that has been stored as memories. Amnesia is extremely rare, and it usually resolves on its own without requiring any treatment other than to treat the initial injuries to the brain.

When someone suffers from amnesia, he or she finds it hard to remember the past. He or she may also find it difficult to make new memories or to imagine what the future will be like. Fortunately, those with amnesia do usually have a sense of self and are lucid. It could be hard for them to learn new information or to remember past experiences, though.

Although amnesia is usually shown as only forgetting the past or forgetting who you are, there are actually different types that affect individuals in various ways. For instance, traumatic amnesia could result from a blow to the head. This amnesia could result in a coma or unconsciousness. Usually, the amnesia only lasts a short time, and it may indicate that the individual suffered a concussion in the crash.

Another kind of amnesia is retrograde amnesia. This is what you might see in a movie. A person can't remember what happened before a traumatic event, but he or she can remember everything afterward. With anterograde amnesia, the opposite occurs.

In all cases, it's important for those with serious injuries to get the right medical help. The individual who causes an accident should be held accountable, so the victim can focus on recovery.

Source: Medical News Today, "What is amnesia and how is it treated?," Christian Nordqvist, Dec. 13, 2017

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