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Amnesia: a complex brain injury that impacts the whole family

A blow to the head can be frightening due to its ability to completely alter a person's life in a matter of seconds. Head injuries can run the gamut from a mild concussion to a traumatic brain injury, and upon initial impact, it is often unclear how serious a Virginian's injuries will be. One particularly concerning effect of brain injury is amnesia.

Amnesia typically occurs when a person's brain is damaged in the area that controls memory processing. Amnesia, which may be permanent, leads to a loss of memories. The condition can make it difficult for a person to form new memories or learn new information, despite a person typically knowing who they are.

There are two common forms of amnesia. A person with anterograde amnesia will have a reduced ability to learn new information, and someone with retrograde amnesia will have an impaired ability to recall information that used to be familiar to them, which may include information about family members or past events. A person with amnesia, also known as amnestic syndrome, may also exhibit disorientation or confusion, as well as have false recollections.

Unfortunately, the medical community has not identified an effective course of treatment for patients with amnesia. They may be treated with various memory techniques, as well as psychological support. Additionally, a patient may have to undergo occupational therapy as he or she relearns information he or she is no longer able to recall.

If your loved one is suffering from amnesia following a brain injury, you may have legal options for financial recovery. Amnesia can be traumatic for both the victim and his or her family. An attorney may be able to provide assistance that can help a family who is dealing with these ongoing issues.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Diseases and Conditions: Amnesia," accessed Aug. 7, 2016

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