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Amnesia - How It Is Related With Brain Surgery?

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MD - Radiology, DNB (Radiology), DM (Diagnostic & Interventional Neuroradiology), CCST (UK)
Neurosurgeon, Kolkata  •  25 years experience
Amnesia - How It Is Related With Brain Surgery?

Often it has been observed in patients undergoing a brain surgery that their memory gets affected. The memory can sometimes be affected either by the tumor growing inside the brain or by the surgery for the removal of that tumor. Rather than the long-term memory, in the majority of the brain surgery cases, it is the short term memory that gets affected more noticeably. Further, sometimes, people have difficulties in making new memories after the brain surgery along with retrieving the old ones. Continue reading to know more about brain surgery and amnesia.

How is brain surgery connected to amnesia?
The presence of a tumor in the brain can affect one's memory in two different ways. Though not everyone suffers from it, there is a possibility that the treatment or the surgery often leads to memory difficulties and sometimes it's the location of the tumor in the brain that causes the memory damage. Sometimes, even radiations or chemotherapy sessions can also be responsible for amnesia. One must know that having a brain tumor or opting for a brain surgery doesn’t necessarily cause memory loss or amnesia for everyone. And those patients who do suffer from this, both the severity and symptoms of the memory loss vary from one to another.

Probable memory difficulties
Memory difficulties, also commonly referred to as amnesia, can be two different types, retrograde amnesia, and anterograde amnesia, irrespective of whether it is the result of the treatment or the location of the tumor. In case of retrograde amnesia, the memory loss occurs before undergoing a brain surgery, or sometimes even before developing the brain tumor. However, those who suffer from anterograde amnesia face difficulties in remembering their previous memories after the brain surgery is performed.


Coping with amnesia
Once the type of memory loss one is suffering from is identified, there are various ways and strategies to cope with amnesia, suggested by the doctors. Taking good care of one’s self, having the necessary amount of sleep along with a healthy diet helps one improve his or her capacity of recalling the forgotten memories in many cases.

Further, by adopting simple measures like maintaining a diary, following a routine and organizing one's medications with reminder notes can also help an amnesia patient in coping with the normal life situations. Minimizing the distractions and focusing on a single thing at a time can also be helpful in not only coping with it but also in improving the memory.

In case one displays signs of having a memory problem after a brain surgery, he or she should be immediately taken to a clinical psychologist or a neuropsychologist. Because it is with the help of this medical professional that severity of the amnesia that the person is suffering from and which part of memory has been affected can be determined, and the right ways of coping with the issue can be suggested.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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