Paper on Amnesia

Essay by bballjillCollege, Undergraduate December 2003

download word file, 6 pages 5.0 1 reviews


Amnesia is typically defined as partial or total loss of memory. The occurrence of amnesia can arise at any age. Individuals who suffer from amnesia typically remain lucid and preserve their sense of self. Amnesiacs can obtain a perfectly normal appearance despite the amnesia. Moreover, they also have the capacity to read and comprehend words. Based on these facts, researchers have arrived at the conclusion that more than one area in the brain is used for storing facts.

One type of amnesia is Anterograde Amnesia. Anterograde amnesia is defined as severe amnesia and causes superfluous difficulties for those suffering from it. Anterograde amnesia is when people find it extremely difficult to recall ongoing events after a significant amount of brain damage has occurred. They do not forget past events but have an arduous time remembering day to day events. An individual who suffered from anterograde amnesia was H.M.

He suffered from severe epilepsy, so a medical procedure was done that was supposed to alleviate him of his symptoms. Parts of H.M.'s medial temporal lobe were removed, which included the hippocampus. H.M.'s epilepsy was improved but he was now faced with an even bigger problem, he could no longer form new memories. His short term memory was unaffected, he was able to recall a series of numbers that were momentarily presented but could not retain the information over long periods of time. The long term memories that he had formed before the operation were intact, and he even performed well on standard IQ tests. It was now evident that the regions of the temporal lobe and hippocampus were impertinent structures in forming long term memories. In addition to this kind of amnesia, there are also other types.

The opposite of anterograde amnesia is retrograde amnesia. Retrograde amnesia is another...