The medical team treating Sriram Venkataraman at the Thiruvananthapuram Government Medical College has said the IAS officer is suffering from retrograde amnesia following the accident he was involved in last week, resulting in the death of a journalist.
Though he was shifted from the trauma ICU of the multi-speciality block to a high-care ward, this medical condition can increase his recovery time. Here's all you need to know about it.
What is retrograde amnesia?
It is a type of memory loss caused by damage to the memory-storage areas of the brain following a serious injury, stroke, trauma, thiamine deficiency, brain disease or some other serious illness.
What are the symptoms?
Memory loss: While patients might remember certain skill sets they acquired over the years, they won't be able to recollect things that happened after the onset of amnesia. For example, patients could drive a car without any trouble but won't remember the colour, name, or registration number of their vehicle.
Patients are also likely to forget names, people, places and facts after the onset of amnesia.
How is it diagnosed?
Retrograde amnesia can be diagnosed only after a full medical examination by doctors. Medical experts will have to run different tests to look for possible causes of memory loss. The diagnostic tests that the doctors might use include CT and MRL scans to look for brain injuries, electroencephalogram (EEG) and neurological examinations.
How is it treated?
There are no specific medications for retrograde amnesia. The treatment will generally focus on the underlying cause of the amnesia.
What is dissociative amnesia?
Dissociative amnesia or psychogenic amnesia is a rare type of retrograde amnesia that is caused as the result of an emotional shock. This temporary medical condition arises purely out of trauma and will result in the inability of patients to remember personal things.