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Amnesia Amnesia, the partial or complete loss of memory, most commonly is temporary and for only a short span of experience. There are both organic and psychological causes for amnesia. Some organic causes include inflammation of the brain, head injury, or stroke. This type of memory loss occurs suddenly and can last a long time. The person may be able to recall events in the distant past but not yesterday or today. If the amnesia is caused by alcohol abuse, it is a progressive disorder, and there are usually neurological problems like uncoordinated movements and loss of feeling in the fingers and toes. Once these problems occur, it may be too late to stop drinking. In contrast, psychologically based amnesia is almost always temporary. This type of memory loss may be triggered by a traumatic event with which the mind can not deal. Usually, the memory slowly or suddenly comes back a few days later, though not all of the trauma may be recalled. Only rarely does a person lose the memory of larger portions of their life The brain stores different types of information in different places. Short-term memory involves recalling details that have been catalogued seconds or minutes before. Examples include reciting a phone number, recognizing a new face, or repeating a list of three objects seen 2 or 3 minutes earlier. For this to happen, distinct areas deep in the brain need to function properly. For short-term memory to convert to long-term memory, other permanent changes to brain cells have to take place. This is similar to creating a permanent file or recording. Other parts of the brain perform this filing function. Occasional memory lapses or forgetfulness are common. These may be associated with depression, stress, lack of ... ... middle of paper ... ...fugue amnesia): This covers episodes of amnesia linked to psychological trauma. It is usually temporary and can be triggered by a traumatic event with which the mind finds it difficult to deal. Usually, the memory slowly or suddenly comes back a few days later, although memory of the trauma may remain incomplete. Treatment varies according to the type of amnesia and the suspected cause. Usually the best cure for most is rest and time. Bibliography: Baddeley, A. (1983) Your Memory; a User's Guide London: Penguin Campbell, R. & Conway, M.A. (1995) Broken Memories: Case Studies in Memory Impairement Oxford: Blackwell Rose, S. (1983) The Making of Memory London: Transworld Publishers New World book Encyclopedia Volume A

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