Updated: 5/4/2016

Amnesia Types

Review Topic

  • A 67-year old with a known history of alcoholism is unable to recall certain memories of the past few weeks. When speaking with him, he remembers things that never happened. He confabulates stories of people he met and dinner parties he attended. 

  • Retrograde amnesia
    • cannot remember things that occurred before a CNS insult
  • Anterograde amnesia
    • "no new memory"
    • cannot remember things that occurred after a CNS insult
      • "Anterograde = After"
    • Korsakoff's amnesia
      • anterograde amnesia caused by thiamine deficiency
        • most classically in alcoholics
        • associated with confabulations
      • leads to bilateral destruction of mammillary bodies
  • Dissociative amnesia
    • cannot recall important personal information following severe trauma or stress
    • disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance
    • dissociative fugue
      • travel or wandering that is associated with amnesia for identity

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