Goldfield Syndrome

What is Goldfield Syndrome?

Goldfield syndrome is an illusory form of anterograde amnesia. The Anterograde amnesia is a condition in which defeat the capability to generate fresh memories after the incident that caused the amnesia.

However, it does not cause partial or complete incapability to remind the recent past, even long-term memories remain intact. ’50 First Dates’ is a comedy romantic fictional film, where Goldfield’s Syndrome is mentioned to describe the memory loss event, but in reality, the syndrome is not actually as it illustrated there.

But Anterograde amnesia is present in medical science, which is caused due to brain injury, chronic illness, psychological trauma or drug use. The story of ’50 First Dates’, which highlight Goldfield’s Syndrome is inspired from anterograde amnesia. Therefore, in reality, no Goldfield Syndrome are there, but it describes anterograde amnesia1,2.

Goldfield syndrome Picture 1

Characteristic Features

Anterograde and retrograde are two characteristic features of amnesia. After a particular incident new memories are unable to form, however, memories prior to the incidence are remained intact and that is termed as anterograde amnesia.

Explicit memories are the memories which generate after the incidence and whereas implicit memories are the events which generate before the incidence takes place. Retrograde amnesia is the lack of ability to recapitulate implicit memories means loss of incidence before physical damage took place in the brain. Explicit memories involve cognizant attempt to recall the event.

In Goldfield Syndrome following are some characteristic features,

a. Retrograde memories are preserved

b. Sleep after post injury often cause anterograde amnesia; Awakening condition may preserve the anterograde memory

c. Sleep after injury can cause complete or partial amnesia may occur

  • Loss of isolated memory may not interfere with aptitude, general knowledge, alertness, concentration, decision-making power, individuality or self-characteristics
  • An affected individual generally able to comprehend written and spoken the language and also able to learn different activities like riding a bike or playing piano etc. They usually recognize that they memory disorder
  • Counterfeit memories (confabulation), which may completely imaginary or mixing of genuine memories with some event alteration
  • Disorientation or confusion1,2,3


In Goldfield Syndrome, memories encoding and storage problem arises. Several drugs like benzodiazepines, excess consumption of alcohol can provide Goldfield Syndrome, or even any direct injury causes hippocampus or medial temporal lobe damage.

Apart from these causes oxygen deprivation, seizure attack, cardiac attack, and shock or emotional setback can also affect the neurological functioning of the brain and Goldfield Syndrome arise. In Goldfield Syndrome, usually neuro-plasticity is damaged on the one side of the medial temporal lobe and that causes short-term memory impairment2,3.


The diagnosis of Goldfield Syndrome include the following workout

Medical History

Through knowledge of medical history is very important, which include analysis of

  • Nature of loss of memory means recent memory loss or long term memory loss
  • What incidence initiate memory disorder and the nature of progression of condition
  • Triggering factors like surgical intervention, stroke or head injury
  • Hereditary involvement of neurological disorder
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Drug abuse
  • Comorbidity like epileptic attack, prolong history of headache cancer

Physical exam

Neurological alertness by testing reflex action, sensory functioning test, body balancing ability and other physiological characteristic related to the brain and nervous system.

Cognitive tests

This test is performed by checking the ability of thought process, judgment ability and memory categorization long term or short term. Evaluation of memory is important for detection of the degree of memory loss which assists in providing support to the Goldfield Syndrome affected person.

Diagnostic tests

  • MRI and CT scan are the imaging tests perform to diagnose the location of the brain damage
  • A blood test is performed to check the presence of infection, micronutrient deficiencies or additional issues.
  • An EEG (electroencephalogram) helps to diagnose the seizure activity3.


The goal of the treatment is to provide support to control memory related problem in Goldfield’s Syndrome.

Occupational therapy

The occupational therapy assists in coping up with the loss of memory and also gradually incorporate the memory by continuous repeating the events, which abolish from the brain. The occupational therapist also provides new information, so that cop up with external world become easier for the patient. Memory training may help to improve remember capacity.

Technological assistance

Advancement of technology may become assistance device for Goldfield Syndrome affected individuals. The continuous training program helps them to operate smartphone or tablet, and incorporating different data assist them to memorize and remembering the things, which they often forget and thus they can resolve their daily activity related problems those arise due to short-term memory impairment.

Even note down the things in a notebook, marking dates in the calendar, keeping photographs etc are also may assist the Goldfield Syndrome affected individuals.

Medications or supplements

In some cases, thiamin deficiency leads to Goldfield Syndrome. Supplementing thiamin can resolve this problem.

If the memory loss is drug induced or excessive alcohol consumption, then withdrawal of the causative agent may provide a reduction of the symptoms of Goldfield Syndrome3.



One thought on “Goldfield Syndrome

  • 10/04/2021 at 4:58 PM

    This was very good. It took me four years of recovery and still have some way to go but this is the first time, I think, that I ever looked it up. This explains a lot…


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