Amnesia disorder – A Short Overview
Major types of amnesia:
Retrograde amnesia: the patient cannot remember past events.
Anterograde amnesia: the patient cannot remember new information.
Structural brain abnormalities in both types:
According to research retrograde amnesia is usually caused by head trauma or brain damage to parts of the brain besides the hippocampus. Damage to the medial temporal lobe also impairs memories that were acquired before the onset of amnesia. The severity and extent of retrograde amnesia are determined by the locus and extent of the damage. Patients with restricted hippocampal damage have limited retrograde amnesia covering a few years prior to the onset of amnesia. Patients with large medial temporal lobe damage have extensive retrograde amnesia covering decades. According to research anterograde amnesia is usually caused when damage is restricted to the medial temporal lobe or midline diencephalon.
The patient suffers severe amnesia but musical memory remains intact:
Scientists have examined that patients with encephalitis caused by the herpes virus developed serious disturbances in memory. Both his memory for the past (retrograde amnesia), as well as the acquisition of new information (anterograde amnesia), were affected. Whereas the patient was unable to recall any event from his private or professional life, or remember any of his friends or relatives, he retained a completely intact musical memory.
Eating sweet foods causes the brain to form memories that may control eating behaviors:
Eating sweet foods causes the brain to form a memory of meals. The findings, published online in the journal Hippocampus, show that neurons in the dorsal hippocampus, the part of the brain that is critical for episodic memory, are activated by consuming sweets. Episodic memory may be used to control eating behavior. The sweetened solution significantly increased the expression of synaptic plasticity, synaptic plasticity is a process that is necessary for making memories.
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