Clive Wearing Essay

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Clive Wearing Clive Wearing has one of the worst cases of amnesia ever recorded. A renowned conductor living in London, he was at the peak of his profession when he contracted a virus in 1985. Clive is now 67 years old and living in a brain injury unit where he has constant supervision. Clive's descent into brain damage came frighteningly quickly one weekend in March 1985 when he returned home from work looking flushed and feverish. On Saturday his headaches started. By Tuesday he was no better and hadn't slept. His temperature was 102°. By Wednesday he was very confused and couldn't remember, his wife, Deborah's name. His temperature was 104°. Doctors came and went and Deborah left him sleeping, but when she returned, Clive had disappeared. Over the next few hours Deborah rang hospitals and police stations across London. Clive eventually turned up. He had gone out fully dressed with his overcoat and a copy of The Times under his arm, hailed a cab and forgotten where he was going and forgotten where he lived. The cabbie dropped him at West Hampstead police station where they identified him from his Barclaycard. (Sacks, 2007) Back home 2 doctors visited and concluded that Clive was suffering from a severe bout of flu that was doing the rounds in North London. His condition worsened and he was rushed to St. Mary's Hospital where doctors realized that Clive's brain was being attacked by the herpes simplex or cold sore virus. Very rarely this virus can cross the blood-brain barrier and cause encephalitis or inflammation of the brain. The virus had destroyed the hippocampus, an area of the brain crucial for memory and learning leaving him with dense case of amnesia. Due to the fact that the encephalitis had only impaired Clive’s hippocampus and portions of his frontal lobe, other parts of his brain, which contained stored semantic memories, were still tucked away
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