30 November 2006

Am I with anterograde amnesia?

I think I may have problems with short term memory – anterograde amnesia, a form of memory loss, an inability to recall events which occurred only moments earlier (If by any chance you have watched the film Memento, you should understand what I am talking about). I don't know why I can recollect the style and colour of the clothes a friend wore on a particular occasion donkey's years ago, but just can't remember what happened to me or what I planned to do last night, or even 10 minutes ago.

I think I've got a sniff of trouble.

For example, I always forget to take my mug with me when I decide to go to the kitchen and top up some more hot water. What is even worse is that sometimes I leave behind the mug in the kitchen after filling it up with hot water.

I always tell people the same story over and over again, particularly the infamous Broccoli Quadrilogy, even though they have been told thousands of times and can recite the whole story verbatim.

Here comes another example which I blush to mention: I always plan to bring a jar of my home-made blackberry jam to Maggie, a colleague in the Stirling Media Research Institute but never remember to put it into my bag before I go to the university.

According to researches, loss of short-term memory can be
  1. the result of damage to the hippocampus, fornix or mammillary bodies (all of these are certain parts in the brain);
  2. the consequence of a sudden trauma or a seizure;
  3. induced by medications of hypnotic drugs prescribed for insomnia and other sleep disorders, such as temazepam, lorazepam, zolpidem and alpidem;
  4. caused by large intake of alcohol.
I don't think I had any head injury, nor did I recently suffered any deeply distressing experience, nor did I take or abuse any soporifics or tranquilisers. However, I do slug lots of cider after a typical long, unproductive day. Well, as we don't have cider in Taiwan, or perhaps it's so unfashionable that I've never given it two hoots, I shall drink less when I go back this coming Sunday.

Let me keep my fingers crossed: I'll remember my mug, stop telling people the bloody broccoli story, bring the jam to Maggie, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera...

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