Monday, October 17, 2011

Causes, symptoms and treatment of Confabulation?

CONFABULATIONS, in Bold by Karin Olah
Image via Wikipedia
Confabulation is falsification of memory in clear consciousness in association with an organically derived amnesia. It is a falsely retrieved memory, often containing false details within its own context.

In addition confabulations are not intentionally produced. person does not know about the existence of memory deficit. Some people may act on them, confirming the belief in the false memory.

There are two type

1. Embarrassment confabulation : – This form is momentary in nature. The person tries to cover up memory gap by an ad hoc confabulated excuses.

2. Fantastic confabulation : – The patient spontaneously describes adventurous experiences of a fantastic nature.

Confabulating patients are often suggestible. That means a mere suggestion can induce a lie. For an example, if we suggest to him that he was there at a cafe during this morning (which does not happened) then he will describe the experience as " Yes i took my breakfast and it was fine".

Confabulation usually occur in Amnesic syndrome seen among alcoholic dependent patients. It is called Korsakoff's psychosis. It usually results due to thiamine deficiency that is associated with long term alcohol abuse. In addition, it can be seen among people with neurological disorders in the brain.

Treatment of Confabulation

It is usually treated with Thiamine replacement. However, established confabulation cannot be treated effectively. Only the progression can be stopped. It can be stopped by taking regular thiamine supplementation and complete abstinence of alcohol.


It is a primarily a memory disorder and the patients is unaware of the memory deficit. This leads to filling of memory gaps by a subconscious process that leads to believing a false memory as true. Patient genuinely believe that the false memory is true.

Further reading

Wishful reality distortions in confabulation: a case report.

Originally published in 

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