Memory Loss Causes, Symptoms, Prevention And Treatment


Amnesia is the loss of memories, including facts, knowledge, and experiences. Amnesia is frequently portrayed in movies and on television as losing one's identity, however, this is not typically the case in reality.

As opposed to this, most people with amnesia, also known as amnestic syndrome, are aware of who they are. Nonetheless, they can struggle to build new memories and pick up new knowledge.

Amnesia can be brought on by damage to the parts of the brain responsible for processing memories. In contrast to transitory global amnesia, a brief episode of memory loss, amnesia might be lifelong.

Although there is no specific treatment for amnesia, the underlying problem can still be addressed. The disease can be managed by amnesics and their family by employing memory-improving techniques and getting assistance.


Many brain regions are involved in typical memory function. Memory can be impacted by any brain disorder or injury.

Damage to the limbic system, which regulates memories and emotions, may lead to amnesia. They consist of the thalamus, a structure located deep inside the brain's centre. They also comprise the hippocampal formations in the brain's temporal lobes.

The phrase "neurological amnesia" refers to amnesia brought on by a brain injury or impairment. Amnesia due to neurological reasons could result from:

  • Stroke.
  • An infection with a virus, such as the herpes simplex virus, may cause brain inflammation. Autoimmune responses to cancer somewhere in the body could cause inflammation. An autoimmune reaction may also be at blame.

How to check if you have Memory Loss?

Anyone who suffers from unexplained memory loss, a head injury, or confusion needs to be seen by a doctor immediately.

Amnesics may not be able to locate themselves or seek medical attention. Help someone you know who exhibits amnesia symptoms to receive medical care.

Risk Factors

If you have had any of the following, your risk of having amnesia may be higher:

  • Brain surgery, trauma to the head, or both.
  • Stroke.
  • Abuse of alcohol.
  • Seizures.


Amnesia has these two fundamental characteristics:

  • Difficulty picking up new knowledge.
  • Have trouble recalling recent occurrences and well-known facts.

The majority of amnesics struggle with short-term memory, which makes it challenging for them to retain new information. Most likely, recent recollections will not be remembered. There may be some preservation of deeper or further-reaching memories.

They might, for instance, remember events from their youth or be familiar with previous presidents' names. Nonetheless, they might be unable to name the current president, identify the month, or recall their breakfast.

A person's intelligence, general knowledge, awareness, or attention span are unaffected by isolated memory loss. However, it has no impact on identity, personality, or judgment. Most amnesics can comprehend spoken and written language, and they can pick up new skills like riding a bike. People might be aware of their memory issues.

Dementia is different from amnesia. Memory loss is a typical sign of dementia, but it frequently coexists with other cognitive problems that make it difficult to carry out everyday tasks. Language, decision-making, and visual-spatial issues are a few of these.

Another typical sign of moderate cognitive impairment is memory loss. Memory and other cognitive issues are present with this illness, however, they are not as severe as those with dementia.

Other symptoms that may exist depending on the source of the amnesia include:

  • False memories are either entirely made up or actual recollections that have been lost to time.
  • Confusion or a loss of direction.


Amnesia may result from damage to the brain. It is crucial to take precautions to reduce your risk of suffering a brain injury. For instance:

  • Avoid consuming a lot of alcohol.
  • While riding, always wear a helmet, and when driving, always buckle up.
  • To prevent infections from spreading to the brain, treat them quickly.

If you experience symptoms that could be indicative of a brain aneurysm or stroke, seek emergency medical attention. Some signs and symptoms include a terrible headache, numbness or immobility on one side of the body.


Treatment for amnesia focuses on ways to make up for memory loss. It is also essential to deal with the underlying diseases that are causing forgetfulness.

Occupational therapy

To gain new knowledge and restore what was lost, you might collaborate with an occupational therapist. Alternatively, you may base how you process new information on your still-valid memories.

Memory exercises may also cover techniques for categorising data to make it simpler to remember and comprehend when speaking to others.

Technological support

The usage of smart technology, such as a smartphone or portable tablet, is beneficial to many amnesics. Even those with severe amnesia can utilise electronic organisers to assist with daily tasks with sufficient instruction and experience. Smartphones, for instance, can be programmed to remind them to take their medications or to remember crucial dates.

Notebooks, wall calendars, pill trackers, and images of people and locations are examples of low-tech memory aids.

Drugs or dietary supplements

Most types of amnesia cannot currently be treated with medications.

The amnesia may be caused by Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, however, treatment may be able to stop additional harm. However the majority of people will not fully regain their lost memories. Therapy entails replenishing the body with thiamin, ensuring sufficient nourishment, and abstaining from alcohol.

Cholinesterase inhibitor therapy can relieve symptoms of Alzheimer's disease is the root cause of amnesia.

One day, the research could result in brand-new memory disorders remedies. It is unlikely that a single medication will be effective given the intricacy of the relevant brain processes.

Complications of Memory Loss

The extent and severity of amnesia vary. But, even minor amnesia has a negative impact on everyday tasks and quality of life. The syndrome can lead to issues at the workplace, in the classroom, and in social contexts.

There's a chance that forgotten memories can not be restored. Some individuals with severe memory issues require supervision or should be in a care facility.


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Page last reviewed: Mar 30, 2023

Next review due: Mar 30, 2025

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