Your doctor working with the Mind and Brain Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital will diagnose amnesia based on a comprehensive evaluation to rule out other possible causes of memory loss, such as Alzheimer's disease, dementia, depression or brain tumour.
Your evaluation will start with a detailed medical history. Since you may not be able to provide thorough information because of memory loss, a family member, friend or another caregiver will generally take part in the interview as well. Your doctor will ask many questions to understand the memory loss including:
Type of memory loss — recent or long term
When the memory problems started and how they progressed
Triggering factors, such as head injury, stroke or surgery
Family history, especially of neurological disease
Drug and alcohol use
Other signs and symptoms, such as confusion, language problems, personality changes or impaired ability to care for self
History of seizures, headaches, depression or cancer
Your doctor may also conduct a physical examination including a neurological exam to check reflexes, sensory function, balance, and other physiological aspects of the brain and nervous system. Your thinking, judgment, and recent and long-term memory will be assessed, along with general information, personal information and past events.
Imaging tests such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) scan will also help to look for damage or abnormalities in the brain. Additionally, blood tests can be used to examine infections, nutritional deficiencies or other issues.