Case of memoryloss man like nothing we have ever seen before

Clinical psychologist Dr Gerald Burgess from the School of Psychology has described treating an individual with a ‘Groundhog Day/Memento’- style memory loss after a root-canal treatment at a dentist as ‘like nothing we have ever seen before’ in a paper published in Neurocase.

The case revolves around a 38-year-old man from the UK who went to the dentist for a routine procedure and lost the ability to create new memories. Since the one-hour root-canal treatment, during which he was given a local anaesthetic, the individual cannot remember anything beyond 90 minutes.

He is fully aware of his identity and his personality did not change – but every day the man thinks it is the day of his dental appointment. He has to manage his life through an electronic diary and access to prompts.

Dr Burgess is now appealing for people who know of someone who might have suffered similar symptoms of memory loss, or medical or allied health professionals working with someone like this, to contact him in order to build up knowledge and evidence in this field of study.

Dr Burgess was working as a clinical psychologist a decade ago when the patient was referred to him.

Dr Burgess can be contacted via gb222@le.ac.uk

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