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What causes amnesia?

The cause of amnesia depends on which type of amnesia a person suffers. A person can suffer minor, temporary amnesia from a car accident or other common head injury. This type of amnesia rarely lasts long or causes serious problems. More serious neurological amnesia is the result of brain damage or severe injury, which can result from tumors, diseases like Alzheimer's, oxygen deprivation to the brain, stroke, or brain inflammation. Amnesia can also be the result of alcoholism or a reaction to certain drugs. Dissociative amnesia, also called psychogenic amnesia, is rare but usually follows an emotional trauma. Dissociative amnesia is not connected to any neurological or physical injury and is usually limited to memory surrounding a particularly traumatic event or period of life.

Continue Learning about Amnesia

How does amnesia affect the body?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Amnesia usually has no long-term affects on the body, but it may wreak havoc on the personal and soc...
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Can amnesia be life-threatening?
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Most forms of amnesia, especially those that fade quickly, will not seriously harm the body. Wernick...
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What is transient global amnesia?
Steven A. Meyers, MDSteven A. Meyers, MD
Transient global amnesia is a condition where a person suddenly is unable to form new memories for a...
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Is amnesia a common condition?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Amnesia is not a common condition. Amnesia most often results from damage to the brain in the areas ...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.