Brain injuries and amnesia

As children, many people have seen cartoons where a character is hit in the head, gets amnesia and is returned to normal after suffering another hit to the head. While it may be a source of laughter in a cartoon, there are serious issues that can arise — and often do — with a brain injury. Concussions, which have been in the news a lot over the past few months, can lead to amnesia.

So how do concussions cause amnesia? According to a SciShow video, when the human body is struck on the head or the body, the brain bounces around the skull, damaging brain cell tissue. In many cases, the result is nothing more than a headache and a need for sleep, but there are times when the neurons that control memory are bounced around. This can lead to post-traumatic amnesia.

When some areas of the brain that are connected are damaged, problems can occur. The damage is known as diaschisis and has been linked to brain chemistry imbalances. One type of connected region of the brain is known as neurotransmitter acetylcholine. When these neurons can’t talk, it can make the memory system a little difficult to operate correctly.

There are two types of amnesia, anterograde and retrograde. In anterograde amnesia, the patient can’t make new memories. In retrograde, things that occurred in the past are no longer able to be recalled. Researchers are not sure how damage to the connected regions of the brain can bring on amnesia, especially when there are two different types.

While it could still be some time before the causes of amnesia are truly understood, the treatment for any type of brain injury can be very expensive. If your injury was caused by the negligence of another person, you have a right to seek compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can explain your options.

Source: Medical Daily, “Concussion And Memory Loss: Amnesia From Head Injury Rattles Brain Chemistry, Leads to Cognitive, Memory Problems,” Lizette Borreli, Oct. 04, 2016

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