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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Anterograde Amnesia – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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Anterograde amnesia can be referred to as a decreased ability to hold new information. This condition can affect an individual’s daily activities. Anterograde amnesia can also interfere with social events as well as work due to the challenges of retaining or creating new memories.

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Anterograde amnesia is a subsection of amnesia. It is caused by damage to the part of the brain responsible for memory-making. Amnesia, in some cases, can be temporary, while in others can be permanent.

Fortunately, some therapies could help a person with anterograde amnesia cope with memory loss.

Proactive, Anterograde, and Retrograde Amnesia

Anterograde amnesia is one of the two main features of amnesia. Individuals with this issue have difficulty retaining new memories based on the information and experiences they come across.

Proactive amnesia is typically referred to as anterograde amnesia.

The other feature is known as retrograde amnesia, refers to the lack of ability to remember people, places, and events from your past. Retrograde amnesia can also cause a person to forget substantial daily information, like what time you have to resume work.


Sometimes amnesia can be confused with dementia. Dementia is a degenerative disease that targets memory and information about a person. Nevertheless, dementia also causes brain damage that could result in more cognitive complications.

These challenges can affect everyday functions, like playing sports and work. Anterograde amnesia, on the other hand, deals more directly with remembering current information.

The symptoms of anterograde amnesia mainly target short-term memory processing. This can easily be frustrating and confusing. A person with amnesia can quickly forget:

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  • A new phone number
  • A person they recently met
  • Name of a famous person
  • The spelling of a word
  • Freshly made changes to a routine, such as job changes or school

These symptoms are different from symptoms of retrograde amnesia, which includes forgetting valuable information you already know before the amnesia.

This could involve forgetting a book that’s already been read before. The symptoms of anterograde amnesia manifest after a person’s already experiencing memory loss.


Generally, amnesia is caused by trauma to the brain. This damage can affect the memory-making part of the brain. This damage can affect the brain and alter the way it retains information.

A CT scan it an MRI test that can help doctors diagnose the physical causes of anterograde amnesia. The test results can help medical professionals look for damages or changes to the brain.


Since amnesia is caused by brain damage caused by trauma, there are presently no treatments that can basically cure amnesia. However, some treatments are focused on managing the condition.

These treatment options are mainly techniques and therapies that help to improve the quality of life of the person with amnesia. These options include;

  • Occupational therapy
  • Vitamin B1 supplements
  • Reminder apps
  • Memory training

There are presently no FDA-approved medications that help with the treatment of amnesia.

Risk factors

Risk of developing amnesia may increase if a person has had one or more of these;

  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Brain surgery
  • Brain tumors
  • Brain injury
  • Accidents to the head
  • History of alcohol abuse
  • Dementia
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Vitamin B1 deficiency

Slight brain injuries can cause short-term memory loss, and symptoms may help improve brain function as the brain heals. Moderate to extreme injuries can result in permanent amnesia.


Amnesia may become permanent. This means that the symptoms of anterograde amnesia could get worse as time goes on. Despite this, symptoms may improve or remain the same, even after a traumatic brain injury.

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Many cases of amnesia are momentary, and this is referred to as transient global amnesia. Improvement may be noticed after an illness or injury. However, anterograde amnesia is generally linked with permanent memory loss.

It is imperative that you see a medical doctor as soon as you begin to experience memory loss. This will help your doctor quickly diagnose the type of amnesia you have and plan for a better way to manage the condition.

Have you ever had any complications with your memory? What kind of amnesia do you have? Do you have any contributions you’d like to share with us? Kindly use the comments section below.

Anterograde Amnesia
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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Oluwafemi Michael
Oluwafemi Michael is an online Mental Health Therapist, Advocate for Mental Health Awareness, a programmer, and also a content creator from Edo state, Akoko-Edo LG.
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