Who Discovered Amnesia?

Amnesia is a highly interesting medical condition wherein the memories of patients are disturbed. A number of factors can cause this serious health problem including disease and trauma, both of which could lead to brain damage. It comes in two major forms, namely retrograde amnesia and anterograde amnesia. Today, it continuously affects many people from various parts of the world. Aside from these and other interesting features, it is good to know who discovered amnesia.

The Discovery of Amnesia

Who discovered amnesia? A French psychologist named Theodule-Armand Ribot first observed that patients tend to lose recent memories because of retrograde amnesia. Because of this, medical experts started to call the gradients of memory loss as Ribot gradients. Aside from this particular type of amnesia, there is also anterograde amnesia, a medical condition wherein patients are unable to turn their immediate memory into long-term memory.

Additional Facts and Other Important Details

There are different types of amnesia. One of the most common is post-traumatic amnesia, which is usually caused by a head injury such as knock on the head or a serious fall. Psychological causes can lead to different types of dissociative amnesia. These include childhood amnesia, lacunar amnesia and posthypnotic amnesia. In addition, dissociative fatigue and repressed memory are the other two types of dissociative amnesia.

In addition to these medical conditions, there are still other types of amnesia. Prosopamnesia refers to the inability of an individual to remember faces, despite the availability of facial recognition capabilities. There is also drug-induced amnesia, wherein an individual is injected with amnesiac drugs in order to forget medical procedures or surgery. Meanwhile, the disease referred to as Korsakoff’s syndrome is commonly caused by malnutrition or long-term alcoholism. In this case, the brain is damaged because of vitamin B deficiency, which is further aggravated by the alcohol intake.

Another type of amnesia is called the blackout phenomenon. The cause of this is too much consumption of alcohol in the short term. In cases wherein a person cannot trust his or her very own memory, that individual might be suffering from what psychologist Gisli Gudjonsson called memory distrust syndrome.

In cases wherein a person can recall something but is unable to recall or identify its source, that individual is said to be suffering from the memory disorder called source amnesia. Because of the highly interesting nature of amnesia, it has been used widely in popular culture. Through the years, soap operas, sitcoms and films have used this medical condition as main subject.

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