Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Amnesia is a condition in which memory is disturbed. The causes of amnesia are organic or functional. Organic causes include damage to the brain, through trauma or disease, or use of certain (generally sedative) drugs. Functional causes are psychological factors, such as defense mechanisms. Hysterical post-traumatic amnesia is an example of this. Amnesia may also be spontaneous, in the case of transient global amnesia. This global type of amnesia is more common in middle-aged to elderly people, particularly males, and usually lasts less than 24 hours

Types of amnesia

Traumatic amnesia is generally due to a head injury (fall, knock on the head). Traumatic amnesia is often transient; the duration of the amnesia is related to the degree of injury and may give an indication of the prognosis for recovery of other functions. Mild trauma, such as a car accident that could result in no more than mild whiplash, might cause the occupant of a car to have no memory of the moments just before the accident due to a brief interruption in the short/long-term memory transfer mechanism. "Traumatic amnesia" is also sometimes used to refer to long-term repressed memory that is the result of psychological trauma

Lacunar amnesia is the loss of memory about one specific event.

Childhood amnesia (also known as Infantile amnesia) is the common inability to remember events from your own childhood

Anterograde amnesia, new events are not transferred to long-term memory, so the sufferer will not be able to remember anything that occurs after the onset of this type of amnesia for more than a few moments. The complement of this is retrograde amnesia, where someone will be unable to recall events that occurred before the onset of amnesia. The terms are used to categorise patterns of symptoms, rather than to indicate a particular cause or etiology. Both categories of amnesia can occur together in the same patient, and commonly result from damage to the brain regions most closely associated with episodic/declarative memory: the medial temporal lobes and especially the hippocampus

Global amnesia is total memory loss. This may be a defence mechanism which occurs after a traumatic event. Post-traumatic stress disorder can also involve the spontaneous, vivid retrieval of unwanted traumatic memories

Aging - Many aging persons gradually develop noticeable difficulties in memory: at first for names, then for events, and sometimes even occasionally for spatial relationships. This widely experienced, so-called benign type of forgetfulness bears no proven relationship to degenerative dementia, but may be a forewarning because some of the similarities are hard to overlook. Aside from severe head trauma, the most common causes of severe memory loss are degenerative dementia; brain anoxia (lack of oxygen) or ischemia (lack of blood); alcoholic nutritional disease; and various drug intoxications

Source amnesia is a memory disorder in which someone can recall certain information, but they do not know where or how they obtained it.
Treatment Tips

  • Vasopressin, 16 IU a day (nasal spray) and/or pir-acetam in the dose of 4800 mg daily.

  • For alcoholic cognitive impairment and possibly for memory loss from other causes, cranio-electroneural stimulation (CES) 3 times a day for 45 minutes.

  • Chelation therapy is a procedure performed in a doctor's office. An infusion of the amino acid EDTA is given intravenously with a small needle to remove heavy metals or to improve circulation in vascular diseases. Chelation therapy may be considered for amnesia caused by atherosclerosis.

  • For head trauma victims, Nimotop in the dose of 30 mg 4 times daily.

  • Both ginkgo biloba and vitamin B12 have been shown to improve memory.
    • Ginkgo, 120 mg a day.
    • Vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin, one or more 5-mg lozenges daily.
    • Choline, lecithin, and phosphatidylcholine are best taken early in the day to maximize improvement in brain productivity throughout the day. Suggested dosage ranges are 1000-3000 mg a day of choline or 10,000 mg a day of lecithin. A popular way of obtaining several different forms of choline is a dietary supplement called Cognitex. Those with amnesia would take 12 Cognitex capsules a day until symptoms improved

  • Thiamine (vitamin B1) is indicated for alcohol-induced memory loss, one 500-mg capsule daily with meals.

  • DHEA and pregnenolone are steroidal hormones that improve brain cell activity and improve memory. The suggested supplementation range for pregnenolone is 50-150 mg a day in 3 equal doses. The recommended dosage for DHEA is 25-50 mg a day. Women usually need less DHEA than men. DHEA is contraindicated in both men and women with hormone-related cancers.
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