Memory loss resident survival guide

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Memory loss Resident Survival Guide Microchapters
Overview
Causes
Diagnosis
Do's
Don'ts

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Moises Romo, M.D.

Synonyms and Keywords: Approach to amnesia, Approach to dementia, Amnesia workup, Dementia workup, Approach to pseudodementia, Pseudodementia workup

Overview

Amnesia is a condition in which memory is disturbed or lost. The causes of amnesia can be organic or functional. Organic causes include damage to the brain through trauma or disease or the use of certain (generally sedative) drugs. Functional causes are psychological factors, such as defense mechanisms. Hysterical post-traumatic amnesia is an example of this. Amnesia may also be spontaneous, in the case of transient global amnesia. This global type of amnesia is more common in middle-aged to elderly people, particularly males, and usually lasts less than 24 hours. Memory loss can be partial or total and is normally expected as we get older.


Causes

Life Threatening Causes

Common Causes


Diagnosis

Shown below is an algorithm summarizing the diagnosis of amnesia according to the the American Academy of Neurology guidelines:[1]


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Patient with amnesia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Acute onset
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chronic onset
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Measure vitamin B12, and folate, and TSH
 
Abnormal?
 
Yes
 
Vitamin deficiency, hypothyroidism
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fluctuating course, inattention, disorganized thinking, or altered level of consciousness?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Positive for SIGE CAPS questionary?
 
Yes
 
Depression
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Yes
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
No
 
Severe disimpairment in social functioning?
 
No
 
Normal aging
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Delirium
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dementia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Take history and perform physical examination
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Take history and perform physical examination
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
History of head trauma?
 
Yes
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
No
 
Concussion, post-concussive amnesia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Measure urine toxicology, CBC, creatinine, electrolites, and glucose to reveal cause
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Initial short term memory loss
 
Vascular risk factors, imaging evidence of cerebrovascular involvement
 
Young age, behavioral symptoms or language impairment
 
 
Bradikinesia or features of parkinsonism,

fluctuating cognition, [[visual

hallucinations]]
 
 
 
Dementia occuring 1 year after onset of Parkinson disease
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alzheimer disease
 
Vascular dementia
 
Frontotemporal dementia
 
 
Dementia with Lewy bodies
 
 
 
Parkinson disease dementia
 
 


Do's


Don'ts



References

  1. Jahn H (December 2013). "Memory loss in Alzheimer's disease". Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 15 (4): 445–54. PMC 3898682. PMID 24459411.
  2. Knopman DS, DeKosky ST, Cummings JL, Chui H, Corey-Bloom J, Relkin N, Small GW, Miller B, Stevens JC (May 2001). "Practice parameter: diagnosis of dementia (an evidence-based review). Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology". Neurology. 56 (9): 1143–53. doi:10.1212/wnl.56.9.1143. PMID 11342678.
  3. Petersen RC, Stevens JC, Ganguli M, Tangalos EG, Cummings JL, DeKosky ST (May 2001). "Practice parameter: early detection of dementia: mild cognitive impairment (an evidence-based review). Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology". Neurology. 56 (9): 1133–42. doi:10.1212/wnl.56.9.1133. PMID 11342677.
  4. Squire LR, Zouzounis JA (December 1988). "Self-ratings of memory dysfunction: different findings in depression and amnesia". J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 10 (6): 727–38. doi:10.1080/01688638808402810. PMID 3235647.
  5. Hack, Jason B.; Hoffman, Robert S. (1998). "Thiamine Before Glucose to Prevent Wernicke Encephalopathy: Examining the Conventional Wisdom". JAMA. 279 (8): 583. doi:10.1001/jama.279.8.583a. ISSN 0098-7484.