Amnesia is a profound defect in the ability to form new memories, to remember existing memories, or to do both. The inability to create new memories is called anterograde amnesia, and the inability to recall old memories is called retrograde amnesia.

There are many misconceptions about amnesia. For one thing, unlike the other memory disorders, amnesia does not rob people of their general intellectual ability. In addition, it is not a single condition; rather, there are a number of subtypes of amnesia, each with different features and different causes.

Perhaps the most pervasive misconception about amnesia is that it affects all kinds of memory. In fact, it is mainly new learn- ,119

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