Amnesia: Background information when reading Before I Go To Sleep

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Before I Go To Sleep

A Novel

by S.J. Watson

Before I Go To Sleep
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2011, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2012, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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Beyond the Book:
Amnesia

Amnesia, also known as "amnestic syndrome," refers to a person's inability to retrieve memories or pieces of information from the brain and occurs when the areas of the brain responsible for recovering stored information become compromised by physical or psychological damage.

The limbic system Several structures located deep within the brain, such as the hippocampus (responsible for the formation and storage of memories) and the thalamus (involved in the regulation of sensory perception), comprise the limbic system, a complex network that controls our emotional responses, survival instincts, memory creation, and memory retrieval. Amnesia can be caused by physical or psychological trauma to these structures, brought on by diseases such as Alzheimer's, encephalitis or meningitis, seizures, stroke or drug use.

Most types of amnestic memory loss fall into one of two categories: anterograde or retrograde. Anterograde is the most common form of amnesia, and includes those who are unable to store...

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