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Amnesia Research Papers

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Research paper on Amnesia - neuroscience

AmnesiaIn your research paper on amnesia, you will want to explain the pathological disorder that occurs in response to specific neuroanatomical and physiological damage. Also include the following:

  1. Provide a basic understanding of normal neuroanatomical structures and functions, pathology of the disorder.
  2. Discuss the clinical implications pertaining to the neurological condition (amnesia) and then rehabilitation practices.
  3. Most of the research paper should focus on essential neuropsychology, science, information, concepts and dysfunction.

According to the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), Amnesia is a complex disorder that may encompass many different forms.  In its simplest form, amnesia is understood to be a temporary or permanent impairment of some portion of the memory system. Brain damage of some form undermines the ability to recollect previously experienced episodes and facts. Amnesia is postulated to affect declarative memory in both the long-term and short-term memory. 

Depending upon the type of amnesia, the priming affect or memory is either preserved or compromised. Priming can be defined as the preparation of the brain to recognize or associate a word or image by presenting the individual with a related word or image. A typical priming task would be presenting an individual with pairs of words and measuring their response time to the second word, in relation to whether the first word presented was identical, related, or unrelated. In general, if an individual is “primed” with an identical or related first word in the pair, their response time is faster and more accurate.  Item-specific priming is generally preserved while association-specific priming is often compromised in cases of amnesia.  By studying the various stages and types of compromises to the memory, researchers are able to pinpoint what portions of the brain are most affected by amnesia and where the cause of the malady occurs.

Types of Amnesia

  • Anterograde Amnesia – (AA)
    Anterograde Amnesia is the inability to form new long-term memories.  Individuals with AA live in the present and either refuses to or cannot form memories. Common causes of this kind of memory loss include trauma, stroke, viral encephalitis, and Alzheimer’s disease. All of them damage the hippocampus, which lies deep on both sides of the brain. Thiamine deficiency experienced by some chronic alcoholics also produces anterograde amnesia, by creating lesions in parts of the brain known as the mammillary bodies and the medial thalamus.
  • Retrograde Amnesia -(RA)
    Retrograde amnesia is the form of amnesia in which a person experiences difficulty in remembering events that occurred before the brain disruption. RA is usually associated with severe trauma to the brain, such as blows to the head or in the use of electro convulsive therapy. 
  • Pure Amnesia – (PA)
    Pure Amnesia exists when the person has dense amnesia yet is not intellectually impaired.  Pure amnesia occurs occasionally in stroke victims, brain damage under anesthetic, from poisoning of coal gas, and in persons who experience certain infections on the brain.  PA affects both sides of the brain, temporal lobes and/or hippo-campus and/or mamillary bodies.
  • Infantile/Childhood Amnesia - (ICA)
    Infantile/Childhood Amnesia is the inability to recall events from the first years of one’s life.  Pillemer and White comment on the difficulty of pointing to a cause or source of the disorder. “Controversy has existed as to whether it is the result of a failure in encoding memories or the failure in retrieval of memories and whether such failures are the result of repression, the cognitive limitations of young children or the shifting social circumstances of childhood”.  Freud lists the cause for ICA as the desire to repress sexual feelings towards parents.  A more likely explanation is the lack of development of the hippo-campus until the age of 1 or 2 years. 
  • Hysterical Amnesia
    Hysterical amnesia is typically short term and involves forgetting a situation or one’s identity. This usually occurs when one is attempting to forget trauma, an intensely stressful experience, or is experiencing severe fatigue. 

 

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