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Amnesia is the

loss of memories, including facts, experiences, and information

. Despite what movies suggest, most people who experience amnesia do not forget who they are but have a hard time remembering things from the past or forming new memories. There are several types of amnesia, each with unique causes and effects. In most cases, there is no cure for amnesia, particularly if it develops due to damage to the parts of the brain that are necessary for proper memory formation.

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1. Diagnosis

Diagnosing amnesia typically involves an evaluation of other causes of memory loss to rule out dementia, Alzheimer's disease, or a brain tumor. The doctor will take a complete medical history and attempt to get a thorough understanding of the type and degree of memory loss. People experiencing amnesia are not always able to reliably report these things, so it is common for a trusted family member or friend to be present during the evaluation. The physician will carry out neurological and cognitive tests, along with diagnostic tests, including CT scans, MRIs, and blood panels.

Doctor Memory Diagnosis Thomas Barwick / Getty Images
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