Physicians at the University of Leicester in England report on a very special patient case. According to the scientists, a 39-year-old man believes since visiting the dentist 10 years ago that every day is just the day of the appointment. In addition, the mentally seriously ill person can only remember about 90 minutes of what they had previously experienced. So far, the patient's condition has been a mystery. With the publication, the psychiatrists want to draw attention to the unique case.
English scientists hope for support from colleagues
Incredible, but (apparently) true: A 39-year-old man has had a previously unknown memory disorder since root canal treatment at the dentist, which causes him to think every morning that it is the day of treatment. But that's not all, because even after 90 minutes the patient would forget everything that had happened so far.
Researchers at the University of Leicester in England are currently reporting on this enigmatic patient and hope that the publication will allow them to make contact with experienced colleagues or other victims. Because what is particularly unusual about the case that reminds of films like “Memento” or “And the marmot greets you every day” is that the man shows neither physical symptoms nor abnormalities in the brain that could be the cause of the disorder.
The patient forgets everything he has experienced after about 90 minutes
As Gerald Burgess and his colleagues report in the specialist journal "Neurocase: The Neural Basis of Cognition", the extraordinary story began ten years ago. The then 28-year-old patient had health problems after a root canal treatment under local anesthesia. He went pale, could not get up on his own, and had difficulty speaking, but the subsequent examination in the hospital did not reveal the causes. Instead, after some time it became apparent that the patient not only had physical complaints, but also suffered from "anterograde amnesia", in which the memory for new contents of consciousness is extremely reduced. As a result, he forgot everything he had experienced after about 90 minutes. New experiences and what had been learned also disappeared forever if the patient had not clearly become aware of them during this period.
Root canal treatment cannot be held responsible
In addition, after some time, doctors realized that the man had apparently been on the same day for ten years, according to researchers at the University of Leicester. According to him, he was "quite aware of his identity, but assumes every day that it is the day of his dental appointment."
A completely new phenomenon for scientists, which they have not been able to explain up to now. Because even if a connection with root canal treatment or anesthesia cannot be ruled out, according to the experts, this is rather unlikely. "I do not believe that anesthesia or root canal treatment can be held responsible at this point. This would be unethical and possibly cause no cause for alarm because there is not enough evidence, ”said Dr. Burgess.
Accordingly, the researchers would now hope for support from experienced colleagues or contact with other people affected in order to solve the riddle about the 38-year-old today. One of our reasons for reporting on this individual case was that we had never seen anything like this in our clinical reports before and didn't know what to think about it, ”explains Dr. Burgess. "[…] However, since the article was published, web-based stories have encouraged a few people to write me theories or stories about anesthesia and / or tooth extraction and subsequent memory problems. […] I would be very grateful if there were other stories or theories on the subject or anything else that could help to move forward, ”said Dr. Burgess continues. (sb)