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The media item ‘Clive Wearing, Part 2a: Living without Memory’ is a cut video segment from the
BBC documentary entitled ‘The Mind – Second Edition’. This documentary, filmed in 1998, revisits
Clive Wearing 13 years after the first edition of the series, with the chosen segment focusing on.


Amnesia is the general term given to the temporary or permanent malfunction of some part of the
memory system, which can be caused by head injury, shock, severe illness, trauma or mental disease.
Memory loss can manifest itself in two different ways: Retrograde Amnesia, which is characterised by
memory loss for events before the trauma, and Anterograde Amnesia, which is the inability to store
new memories.


The most publicised and intriguing case of Amnesia is that of Clive Wearing, a successful British
conductor and musicologist, who has suffered severely from both forms of Amnesia since May 1985,
after contracting the simple cold-sore virus ‘Herpes Simplex’. His case is exceptionally fascinating
because of his short memory span, which ranges from only 7 – 30 seconds.


Although there are several other documentaries featuring his prominent clinical case, this segment was
chosen because it provides a more recent and fascinating general overview of this exceptional
condition, and the long term impact it has on his life.