The newsletter of the Memory Disorders Project at Rutgers University

What is Retrograde Amnesia

Retrograde amnesia is a form of amnesia resulting from brain injury in which the individual loses memories for the time period just prior to the injury. This time period may stretch from a few minutes to several years, and typically it is worst for event which occurred just before the injury.

Very rarely, there have been reported cases in which an individual sustains pure retrograde amnesia as a result of a physical brain injury. More often, retrograde amnesia occurs in an individual who also has anterograde amnesia. In this case, the individual will have near total loss of memory for events occurring after the injury, and some loss of memory for events which occurred before the injury.

by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain