Even though a memory is forgotten, the feeling may still remain. A new scientific discovery brings with it implications for memory-stripping diseases like amnesia and Alzheimer's.
In a study involving patients with damage to their hippocampus -- a type of amnesia causes short-term memory loss -- researchers at the University of Iowa discovered that although a recent memory disappears, the feeling originally linked to the memory remains.
The type of memory loss looked at in the study is the same type of amnesia that is an early sign of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers say these findings reinforce the importance of caring for the emotional needs of Alzheimer's patients.
"A simple visit or phone call from family members might have a lingering positive influence on a patient's happiness even though the patient may quickly forget the visit or phone call," Feinstein said. "On the other hand, routine neglect from staff at nursing homes may leave the patient feeling sad, frustrated and lonely even though the patient can't remember why."
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Amnesia: Memories Forgotten, but Feelings Remain