Amnesia is a popular plot device in movies and television, but real-life instances of memory loss are arguably more bizarre than anything seen on the screen. From Agatha Christie's day memory lapse, to Patient H. One of the best-known patients in the history of neuroscience, Henry Molaison — "Patient H. In , when "Patient H. Neuroscientists studied his disordered memory for five decades, laying the foundation for modern scientific understanding of how memory works, and establishing the importance of the temporal lobe in regulating memory function. Writer Agatha Christie captivated readers with her novels about detectives hunting for clues to solve mind-bending mysteries.
Psychological therapy for psychogenic amnesia: Successful treatment in a single case study
Amnesia — the loss of memories, or the inability to form new ones — is typically triggered by damage to structures in the memory-forming part of the brain, called the limbic system. And it's usually associated with causes such as a severe blow to the head, oxygen deprivation, drug or alcohol abuse, or degenerative brain disease. However, there is another rare type of memory loss, called psychogenic amnesia, that appears independent of a brain disorder or injury and is linked to psychological factors. Far less is known about it than is known about neurological amnesia. But a new study of psychogenic amnesia, also known as "dissociative amnesia" or "functional amnesia," could change that. In the study — one of the largest and most comprehensive to date of this unusual condition — researchers described this type of memory loss more clearly than ever before, and found that people who suffered from it were more likely to recover than once thought.
Psychogenic amnesia: syndromes, outcome, and patterns of retrograde amnesia
The so-called short-term memory is typically intact among amnesia sufferers. Such victims usually can repeat a short phrase or a series of words or numbers from immediate memory as adequately as anyone of comparable age and intelligence. Such an amnesic person can retain the gist of a question or request long enough to respond appropriately, unless, of course, there is enough delay in performance or attention is diverted.
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