Essay about Amnesia: Who Are You Anyway?

1195 Words5 Pages
Amnesia: Who Are You Anyway?

"Should the soul of a prince, carrying with it the consciousness of the prince's past life, enter and inform the body of a cobbler, as soon as deserted by his own soul, every one sees he would be the same person with the prince, accountable only for the prince's actions: but who would say it was the same man?" --"Of Identity and Diversity", John Locke

"Where am I? How did I get here?" "You were in a car accident last night. You're in the hospital, but you will be fine" "Accident? What accident? And who are you?" "Don't you know who I am? I'm your little sister."

Sound familiar? How about another scenario?

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client has been under the influence of some form of
…show more content…
Hippocampal injury disrupts the ability to convert short-term memories into long-term memories (4).

Some sources of brain alteration include aging, chronic emotional stress, car accidents, head injury, intense fear, physical traumas, drugs, rape, assault, sexual molestation during childhood, cold baths (5), surgery, stroke, hypoxia (lack of oxygen), closed head injury, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)-usually temporary, Korsakoff's syndrome (alcoholism), or Alzheimer's disease. To illustrate, for example, immersion in cold water causes rapid depletion of serotonin and the release of opiates peptides which in turn negatively influence the hippocampus. Severe stress, emotional shock, as well as a blow to the head or a stroke can induce sudden and drastic alterations in neurotransmitter and arousal levels in the same respect (5).

Anterograde Amnesia affects the formation of new long-term memories, the intactness of the STM (working memory), influence of all modalities (visual, auditory, etc), the ability of skills to be learned. Retrograde amnesia involves the loss of memory for information occurring before damage (6). Many types of amnesias exist, but they generally fall into two major classes based on their cause-functional amnesia and organic amnesia.

Functional amnesia deals with disorders of memory that seem to result from psychological trauma, not an injury to the

More about Essay about Amnesia: Who Are You Anyway?

Get Access