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Memory and memory disorders
In M. G. Gelder, J. J. LÛpez-Ibor Jr., and N. C. Andreasen (Eds.), New Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry, Vol. 1, 271-277. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Year of publication:
This chapter recognises that memory should be regarded as a multifunctional cognitive system that can be understood in a number of ways. We can consider the length of time information is stored, the type of information being stored, the stages involved in remembering, whether information is recalled or recognised, or whether memories date from before or after neurological insult. A number of conditions are described that can give rise to organic memory impairment and several approaches to the management and remediation of memory disorders are considered. Although restoration of memory functioning is unlikely to occur in the majority of people whose memory impairments follow neurological insult, there is much that can be done to reduce the impact of disabling and handicapping memory problems and foster understanding of the issues involved. These include environmental modifications, the employment of errorless learning principles to improve the learning ability of memory-impaired people, teaching how to use external memory aids to help compensate for memory difficulties, and dealing with emotional sequelae such as anxiety and depression, which are often associated with organic memory impairment.