Amnesia Symptoms Aren't Always What You Think
Classic amnesia symptoms, often portrayed in novels and movies, portrays a victim who suddenly does not know who he or she is, where he or she is, and does not recognize otherwise familiar sights or people. Although we occasionally read of someone who is lost, wondering around, and can't recall their name or where they came from, this kind of amnesia is really rather rare.
There are different types of amnesia, and correspondingly different amnesia symptoms. In most cases the individual knows who he or she is, but may not recall events which occurred in the immediate and near past. Amnesia symptoms in most instances involve a loss of near term memory.
One of the reasons there are often many different amnesia symptoms is that different parts of the brain can be affected. What we remember and how we remember things involves these different parts of the brain, so if a disorder exists in one part of the brain, memory loss or other amnesia symptoms may be different from an instance in which another part of the brain is suffering from a disorder.
Amnesia And Dementia - While there are some symptoms in common between amnesia and dementia, the two are not one and the same thing. A person suffering from dementia will sometimes have some memory loss, but it is most often transitory and more often leads to feelings of confusion. The amnesiac is normally not confused, or particularly forgetful, definite symptoms of dementia, but simply cannot recall recent events, or rather rarely, events in the distant past. The amnesiac usually knows who he or she is, and recognizes those who are close friends or relatives. The person who suffers from dementia may become lost and confused when trying to go into town. The amnesiac will usually find his or her way around places they often frequent, but may not remember how to get to a place they've visited only once or twice in the recent past.
Another of the more common amnesia symptoms deals not with the past but with the present, and to some extent the future. Amnesiacs often have difficulty in learning new information because they tend to forget it before it becomes entrenched in their memory.
Temporary Global Amnesia Symptoms - In those cases where amnesia is brought about by damage to the brain, it may be permanent. In some instances people suffer from what is called transient global amnesia. This type of amnesia can be quite upsetting, as the victim suddenly cannot remember past events, even events in the immediate past. The victim usually knows who he or she is, and recognizes others, but their attempt to recollect past events simply draws a blank. The cause or causes of temporary global amnesia are not well understood. Fortunately, the condition usually lasts for only a few hours at most, them simply goes away, usually for good, leaving the victim happy to have memory again, but a bit bewildered as to what happened.
Our Little Experiences - We all experience amnesia-like symptoms from time to time, often more in the realm of absent-mindedness, where our brain is focusing on something else than what we're doing, and consequently we can't recall having done what we just did. Most all of us, in reading a book, sat times have found ourselves suddenly realizing we can't remember what we read in the last 6 pages. How often do we go to a room to get something, and when we get there can't remember the reason we're there? We don't necessarily have to be a senior to have a “senior moment”. These aren't signs of true amnesia, but give a little hint as to what an amnesiac can be going through.
As far as treatment of amnesia symptoms is concerned, it can be just as complicated as the symptoms themselves. Usually amnesia can be cured, but if sometimes takes time, and in some cases is a permanent condition.