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Memory & Amnesia

Most amnesia, or issues affecting memory, are caused by damage to the brain. It may be due to an accident, an illness such as brain infection, stroke, or certain medicines. Sometimes the cause is not known. Symptoms of amnesia include trouble remembering past or new information, confusion, or false memories.

Things that may raise the risk of amnesia are:

  • Head and brain injuries, such as from a car accident
  • Brain damage from problems like:
    • Alcohol or substance use disorders
    • Stroke
    • An illness that affects the brain, such as encephalitis
  • Complications from procedures such as:
    • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
    • Brain surgery
  • Dementia or Alzheimer's disease
  • Some medications such as those used as anesthesia
  • Changes in blood glucose levels or a lack of oxygen
  • Seizures
  • Recent physical or emotional pain or trauma

If amnesia is suspected, your Ogden Clinic neuropsychologist will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be conducted, including questions about when the memory loss started. A person with amnesia may not be able to answer these questions, so we encourage a close loved one to accompany this patient if their memory issues are moderate to severe.

To look for a cause, tests may be done such as:

  • A neurological exam,
  • Blood tests to look for things like infections,
  • Images of the brain may be taken to look for damage, using MRI, CT scans, or cerebral angiography,
  • An EEG may be conducted to test the brain’s electrical activity.

Referrals are not needed to schedule a memory evaluation with Ogden Clinic's Neuropsychology team. Simply contact us to schedule your first visit, and be sure to gather as much information about your symptoms, current medications, and any recent known injuries or trauma. You're welcome to bring loved one to your appointment if you have trouble supplying information for your evaluation.

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