Amnesia is memory loss that may be caused by a head injury or
stroke, substance abuse, or a severe emotional event, such as combat or a motor
vehicle accident. Depending upon the cause, amnesia may be temporary or it may
be a permanent condition.
Amnesia can involve complete loss of memory of one or more of the
The cause determines whether the condition comes on slowly or
suddenly. Memory problems that come on gradually may be a part of ongoing
mental decline (dementia). Total global amnesia is a type of unexplained
amnesia that begins suddenly.
Treatment options and results of treatment of amnesia depend on the
cause of lost memory.
January 7, 2013
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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