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Possible Symptoms and Causes of Amnesia

Amnesia is not something we hear about happening often, but there are many reasons it can happen. It’s often depicted in television and film as a person waking up from a tragic incident and not even knowing who they are. While that makes for some great entertainment and drama, it doesn’t actually happen like that. According to the Mayo Clinic, amnesia doesn’t often cause a person to forget who they are, but rather it’s the “loss of memories, such as facts, information and experiences.” People who suffer from amnesia typically remember who they are, but they will have difficulty retaining new information or forming new memories.

Sometimes referred to as amnestic syndrome, amnesia occurs when there’s been damage to the brain, particularly an area of the brain responsible for memory processing. The Mayo Clinic also notes that while there are incidents of temporary memory loss, for the most part amnesia is permanent. To learn more about this condition, let’s take a look at some of the symptoms and causes of amnesia…


There are several different types of amnesia which can all vary a little bit in their symptoms. Here’s a look at some of the most common…

1. Difficulty Learning New Information

Most of us associate amnesia with memory loss and while that is one of the main features of amnesia (we’ll get to that next), another big one is that people with this condition will not be able to or have great difficulty retaining new information. When this happens it’s referred to as anterograde amnesia. Healthline points out that this form of amnesia can be temporary. “For example, you can experience it during a blackout caused by too much alcohol. It can also be permanent.” This form of amnesia can occur if there is damage to the hippocampus in the brain which plays an important role in forming memories.

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