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Concept and What is: Amnesia | Psychology

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Amnesia is the loss of memory, which can be total or partial. It is usually a temporary condition and can be triggered by various factors such as: psychological or physical trauma (blows to the head), a result of some kind of neurodegenerative disease, abuse of alcohol and/or drugs, stroke, encephalitis (infection that reaches the brain tissue) caused by herpes, for example, high fever, seizures, alcohol abuse related to brain damage, electroconvulsive therapy, brain surgery and Alzheimer's disease.

There are basically three types of organic amnesia, they are:

Retrograde amnesia, where the person remembers only the facts occurring after the trauma, but is unable to remember what happened before him.

In anterograde amnesia occurs otherwise, i.e., the patient doesn't remember things that occurred after the trauma, but remembers clearly things done or learnt before.

Transient global amnesia is characterized by don't have causes that can be identified clearly, although there are studies suggesting that transient ischemic attack or migraine. This variety of amnesia usually has very good chances of cure.

In all forms of amnesia patients are unable to recognize people or places before family members, the amnésias can be temporary or permanent depending on the cause.

There is also the psychogenic amnesia that is of psychological origin and can change the remote memory or short-term memory. This type of amnesia is triggered by emotional crises, and happens as a means of Defense of the mind for situations that can not cope. Normally this type of disturbance passes quickly.

The diagnosis is made through research of the history of trauma, disease, medicine consumed and, in General, the assessment of the health status of the patient. Are also made laboratory tests, image and function, psychiatric exams and psychological tests to help determine the extent of amnesia and which part of memory is compromised.

The prevention of amnesia is basically linked to avoid trauma to the head. Therefore you must wear a helmet to practice sports like riding a motorcycle venture, in automobiles, it is necessary to use a seat belt. Do not use drugs and/or alcohol are basic measures to prevent as well as treat brain infections quickly to minimize the damage. It is interesting to also keep the brain active by reading and attention games like chess, for example.
Translated for educational purposes.
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