Memory Loss: Some Essential Details

In countless Indian language movies, loss of memory and its subsequent regaining used to be a recurring theme. We have all seen countless movies based on the topic in its various flavours. The movies always had a happy ending, with the affected person regaining memory either through a song the family used to sing together in childhood or a miraculous blow to the head that manages to activate the precise part of the brain responsible for managing memory.

Let us try to understand more about the subject that affects millions of people all around the world. Loss of memory may be caused by brain injury, disease or trauma. The Greek word ‘Amnesia’ is used to describe the condition, which means ‘forgetfulness.’ The memory loss can be either partial or complete in nature. Losing the ability to memorize information or data or an inability to recall the stored information can be termed as memory loss or amnesia.

There are mainly two categories responsible for the onset of amnesia. First is head injuries and the second is witnessing something shocking. Consumption of alcohol can also have harmful effect on memory formation. Amnesia may even be the manifestation of  subsequent onset of the Alzheimer's, the degenerative brain disease. Neurological amnesia is caused by brain injury, stroke, encephalitis, oxygen deprivation to the brain due to heart attack, or carbon monoxide poisoning. Brain hemorrhage, and brain tumors also have an effect on memory.

The common symptoms of amnesia are: inability to learn new information and to remember past events, misplaced memories, uncoordinated movements, confusion or disorientation, short-term or partial or total loss of memory, inability to recognise people’s faces and familiar places.

Amnesiac people have difficulty in imagining the future as the past events are closely related to our ability in envisioning the future. However, it is perfectly normal for everyone to be a little forgetful at times. Do not panic if you feel your memory is not as good as it used to be. You only need to worry about large memory losses and if you are unable to recall details about most important things in your life, like your marriage or birth of your child.

The best way to prevent memory loss and to improve one’s memory is to keep yourself mentally alert through reading, solving puzzles and regular physical exercise. Avoid watching too much TV and get plenty of sleep. Keeping pets and indulging in a hobby like gardening can also help. Leading a healthy lifestyle is the best way to keep ourselves busy and mentally alert. 

Disclaimer:

The aim of the article is to be informative in a general way. Always seek expert medical advice.