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Cerebral cortex
The temporal lobe, shown in green, is affected in lethologica.

Lethologica is a psychological disorder that inhibits an individual's ability to articulate his or her thoughts by temporarily forgetting key words, phrases or names in conversation.


Lethologica was first identified as a serious, debilitating disorder by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung in 1913 in his Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido (The Psychology of the Unconscious). Detailed studies of the disorder were first carried out by American psychiatrists in the 1950s. Current research identifies the ailment as extremely prevalent but also highly variable in its severity of manifestation. According to the American Psychiatric Association, "9 out of 10 Westerners will suffer some form of Lethologica during their lifetimes."

The word lethologica is derived from the Greek language terms for forgetfulness (letho) and word (logos). Letho originates from Greek mythology; the Lethe (or River of Oblivion) was one of the rivers that flowed through the realm of Hades, from which the shades of the dead were forced to drink in order to forget their past lives on earth.


Lethologica's severity amongst sufferers is dependent upon a variety of factors including stress, physical fitness, social interaction and base memory capacity. As such it can be classified as a lifestyle disease which is also affected by individual personality traits. These factors have been shown to affect the temporal lobe which in turn causes the sporadic functioning of episodic and semantic memory capacities. Lethologica afflicts in a manner almost opposite to that of other memory disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease or other forms of dementia in that strenuous mental exercise can precipitate an onset of memory loss.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lethologica". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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