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Amensia

In: People

Submitted By leenuhkhai
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Memory plays an important role from the early stages of life until the body starts to deteriorate. Information needs to be stored in our memory in order for it to be processed and accessible when needed. The memory portion of the brain allows us to furnish our mind with emotions, knowledge and thoughts that aids in accomplishing everyday tasks. Memory contributes to the ability of recalling events, connecting one point to another, and incorporates the world of the implicit. In other words, memory has the ability to guide the mind through effortless tasks without being consciously aware. For example, a person does not need to recall every motion in riding a bike after the process is already learned. However, memory may be affected by amnesia. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of memory and brain structures involved with anterograde and retrograde amnesia Amnesia is a condition that involves partial or complete loss of memory. The severity of memory loss is determined by which part of the brain was affected. Major brain structures involved with memory are the hippocampus and the temporal lobes. The hippocampus is a structure within the brain and part of the limbic system. This structure significantly contributes to memory, and may be related to processing information and the formation of recent memories. According to Kim and Fanselow (1992), damage to the hippocampus results in the impairment of recent memories, but not remote A study conducted by Kim and Fanselow (1992) found damage to the hippocampus involves the impairment of recent memories, but not remote memories. Additionally, the temporal lobe is responsible for retrieving and storing memories “ In particular, the time course of medial temporal lobe (MTL) involvement in the storage and retrieval of remote memories has not been resolved. The present study examines performance across a range of measures of remote memory in amnesic patients with focal medial temporal lobe pathology, more widespread temporal lobe damage, and frontal lobe damage.” ( Bright, Buckman, Kopeland 1997) Damage to these brain areas may lead to life altering consequences, and anterograde or retrograde amnesia. One form of memory loss is anterograde amnesia. This type of amnesia is characterized by the inability to form new memories and recall new information after an event. However, information prior to the event is often not affected and intact. For instance, a person afflicted with anterograde amnesia may fail to recognize things they just saw or people they just met. In other words, new information is processed but immediately forgotten. This could suggest that new information never reaches the brain structures involved with long-term memory. The source of anterograde amnesia may be contributed to damage in certain brain structures. According to Delay and Biron (1969) and Aggleton and Brown (1999), the brain regions associated with amnesia may include “a circuit comprising the hippocampus, the diencephalon and the fibers connecting.” Again, the hippocampus is a brain structure that may be involved with recent memories. Thus, damage to this brain structure may contribute to anterograde amnesia because recent memories could be affected. For example, the study of patient H.M. significantly contributed to research on brain structures involved with anterograde amnesia and memory. H.M. suffered from epileptic seizures that interfered with his everyday life. As a treatment, he underwent surgery that removed parts of the hippocampus, amygdala and the surrounding cortex in his brain. As a result, the surgery was a success because the seizures became less frequent. However, he was not able to retain or store any new information into long-term memory. This study is very significant because H.M helped scientist understand what’s going on with the brain and “fragile nature of human identity.” ( Carey 2008)He participated in many research and studies while donating a significant amount of his time to help the scientist understand the

complexity of the brain. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for anterograde amnesia. However, present day treatments may include rehabilitation centers and psychotherapy Another type of memory loss is retrograde amnesia. In contrast to anterograde amnesia, this type of amnesia is characterized by the loss of memories before an event. Retrograde amnesia, refers to a person loss of memory before the accident. For example, the patient recalls anything that they ate the day before or what they did with a family member. In this situation the episodic memory is usually the one that has been affected versus the semantic part, this meant that in some cases the patient is able to remember general information, such as shapes, colors, and so on, but for the specific events in their lives is a total loss. Although, the person ability to perform an everyday skill is still able to be maintain because the procedural part of the brain still remain functional. The cause of this disease is due to the damage of the hippocampus but the hippocampus is “recent but not remote memories are impaired.” (Kim & Fanselow 1992) In order for someone to be diagnose with retrograde amnesia is usually when there is a head trauma caused by falling, car accidents, sport injury, or the deprived from the lack of oxygen. An example would be someone having a stroke. Retrograde amnesia is also associated with Alzheimer disease because both diseases reflect the damages of the autobiographical memories. With this being said, “As with anterograde amnesia, retrograde amnesia can be divided along similar lines into episodic (or autobiographical) memory and semantic memory. Semantic retrograde amnesia can be further subdivided into knowledge about one’s personal past (autobiographical semantics) and general world knowledge (such as public events and famous faces)” ( Splers, Maguire, Burgess 2001) In conclusion, memory plays an important role in everyday life. The process of forming, storing and retrieving memories begins early and continues throughout life.…...

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