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Much of the current knowledge of memory has come from studying memory disorders. Loss of memory is known as amnesia. There are many sorts of amnesia, and by studying their different forms, it has become possible to observe apparent defects in individual sub-systems of the brain's memory systems, and thus hypothesize their function in the normally working brain. Other neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease can also affect memory and cognition.
Hyperthymesia, or hyperthymesic syndrome, is a disorder which affects an individual's autobiographical memory, essentially meaning that they cannot forget small details that otherwise would not be stored.
While not a disorder, a common temporary failure of word retrieval from memory is the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon. Sufferers of Nominal Aphasia (also called Anomia), however, do experience the Tip of the Tongue phenomenon on an ongoing basis due to damage to the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain.
Impaired memory can be a symptom of hypothyroidism.
- Repressed memory
- False memory
- Traumatic memory
- Alcohol amnestic disorder
- Dissociative fugue
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