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What is it?
Loss of memory, usually brought on by severe emotional shock, hysteria, drink or drug addiction. A number of diseases can also cause amnesia, including meningitis, syphilis, brain tumour and epilepsy. In many cases memory returns when the underlyng condition clears up.
When the case is an underlying mental illness, a doctor may give anaesthetic drugs to make the patient speak about emotional problems in a way that would not have been possible normally.