Q: Happy new month, Drug prescription for amnesia?
A: Amnesia refers to the loss of memories. People with amnesia know who they are but have challenges learning new information or forming new memories.
What are the causes? They are many and diverse because brain function is controlled by many parts of the brain, such than any problem with one area affects memory. There are 3 types of amnesia:
- Neurological amnesia– this is due to damage to the brain and can be caused by conditions such as those listed below:
- Inadequate oxygen supply to the brain in conditions like a heart attack
- Thiamine deficiency from long-term alcohol use
- Tumors in the areas of the brain associated with memory
- Permanent amnesia from severe head injuries resulting from incidents like road traffic accidents
- Dissociative amnesia is from emotional shock or trauma. Person involved, may lose personal memories and autobiographical information, but usually only briefly.
People at risk of amnesia are those who are suffering from or had suffered any of the conditions listed for neurological amnesia
Two main features of amnesia are:
- Retrograde amnesia, in which the patient cannot remember previously familiar information
- Anterograde amnesia which the patient cannot absorb new information
- Additional symptoms may include creation of false memories and confusion
To prevent amnesia,
- Avoid excessive alcohol use.
- Wear protective head gear when bicycling and a seat belt when driving.
- Treat infections quickly to prevent spread to the brain.
- Get treated immediately in the event of a stroke
You asked about drugs for treating amnesia. Unfortunately, there are none for now. However, if amnesia is caused by lack of thiamin, then replacement therapy is sufficient treatment.
Generally, treatment focuses on the memory problem and underlying diseases.
- Technology can play a huge role here, sending out messages to remind patients of certain key activities
- Occupational therapy, which could involve memory training
I hope this helps! 😀