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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is amnesia?

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  • Dr Nicholas Bradfield

    Clinical Neuropsychologist, Psychologist

    Dr Bradfield is a Clinical Neuropsychologist working in private practice and in the public health system in Melbourne, Australia. He has clinical experience conducting neuropsychological … View Profile

    Amnesia is a severe disorder of memory. It is usually categorised into two main types:

    1. Anterograde amnesia: difficulty creating new memories
    2. reterograde amnesia: difficulty remembering information from the past
    There are many causes of amnesia including Alzheimer's disease, stroke, brain infections and trauma. 

    People may have difficulty with memory for a number of other reasons, but the term amnesia is usually only used when memory is severely affected. 

    People with amnesia tend to have difficulties remembering specific types of information. For example they will tend to have more difficulty remembering people they meet, places they have visited, where they left there keys, conversations they have had, where they parked the car, etc. People with amnesia will tend to have less difficulty with other types of information such as how to ride a bike, how to play a musical instrument, how to use a toaster etc. 

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