Amnesia refers to the loss of memory, especially experience, information, and facts. People with amnesia may have awareness of self but have trouble in recalling information stored in memory. In Amnesia, one may not be able to recall past events or remember new events, or even both.
Causes of Amnesia:
Normal memory involves many regions of the brain. Any injury or disease associated with the brain can interfere with memory. Amnesia caused by brain injury or brain damage is called as organic or neurological amnesia. Causes of organic amnesia include:
Encephalitis or brain infection due to a viral infection like herpes simplex virus, or an auto-immune reaction to cancer anywhere in the body.
Lack of oxygen in the brain (due to poisoning by carbon monoxide, respiratory distress or heart attack).
Tumors in regions of the brain controlling memory.
Long-term abuse of alcohol consumption that leads to Thiamine (Vitamin B-1 deficiency), and also, called as Wernicke- Korsakoff syndrome.
Age and degenerative brain disease like Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Medication such as benzodiazepines.
Injury: Amnesia is most commonly linked to brain injury caused by accident, fall or blow to the head.
Functional amnesia is caused by:
Risk factors are:
Trauma, head injury or brain surgery
Signs and Symptoms of Amnesia:
The following are the symptoms of amnesia:
Impairment of ability to learn new information following the onset of amnesia. The patient fails to recollect new information (Anterograde amnesia).
Impairment of ability to recollect past events (retrograde amnesia).
False memories- may be completely construed up memories or memories misplaced in time (also called as confabulation).
Uncoordinated movements such as tremors (neurological problems).
Confusion or disorientation.
Total loss of memory.
Problems with short-term memory.
Failure to recognize faces.
Partial loss of memory.
Diagnosis of Amnesia
In order to diagnose amnesia, a comprehensive evaluation will be done by the doctor to check for causes like Alzheimer’s, depression, dementia, or brain tumor.
The doctor will ask the following questions:
Type of memory loss
How it started and progressed
Factors to trigger it like stroke, brain injury or brain surgery
Drug and alcohol use
History of cancer, seizures, depression or headaches
The doctors will also do the following to diagnose the disease:
Physical examination: Neurological exams to test sensory function, reflexes etc.
Cognitive tests: Test the person’s thinking, judgment, and long-term and recent memory.
Imaging tests: Such as MRI, CT scan, Electroencephalogram may be used to test brain damage.
Blood tests: for checking nutritional deficiency or infections.
Treatment of Amnesia
Homeopathy treats the patent as a whole. Medicines are selected after a full examination and case analysis like medical history, mental and physical examination, family history, symptoms etc. Causes of amnesia are difficult to find. Exploring the past history of the patient becomes difficult if no immediate and apparent cause of amnesia is manifested. But homeopathic treatment does the best in providing individual treatment by exploring, mental, emotional and physical faculties of the patient. Homeopathic treatments are safe and free of harmful side effects but must be consumed under the strict supervision of a doctor.