As doctors struggle to unlock the past of 'Mystery Man', Prof Tom Dening explains why memory is so important - and what can make it fail.
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An amnesia sufferer who had been unable to remember his own identity after being found in a Peterborough park has been named as Alvydas Kanaporis, 22, originally from Lithuania, following an appeal, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust said.
The doctor treating 'Robert' says that over 50 days of memory loss is extremely rare and throughout his whole career he's never met someone with no memory at all.
Dr Manaan Kar Ray say the Autobiographical Memory - which incorporates memories of friends, family, and experiences - makes up the 'building blocks' of our existence.
The medical team have taken the man to the town centre of Peterborough where he was found and also to Wisbech, an area with several Eastern European communities, as he has a slight accent.
But doctors say that even if he's identified, the process to bring back his memory will be just beginning.
Amnesia is when an individual loses all or some of their memory.
It can be caused by a blow to the head, brain illnesses, or an extreme emotional experience.
Anterograde amnesia - when the individual struggles to remember regular or day to day events and activities after a physical injury or accident.
Retrograde amnesia - when the individual struggles to remember events or activities that happened before their injury.
Transient global amnesia - disruption to the memory that lasts for around 4-12 hours normally following trauma.
Fugue amnesia - when the individual cannot remember who they are and struggles with identity.
'Robert' seems to be quite sporty and has been playing basketball and football since being taken into the care of hospital staff in Peterborough.
He was found wandering in a park in Peterborough on 18 May.
He speaks English, but it may be a second language. He also understands Russian and Lithuanian.
He has no physical problems.
He's experiencing a range of emotions at the moment and is too upset to speak on camera.
He is being looked after at the Cavell Centre, which cares for people with mental health conditions.
If you can help - contact:
Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 01733 776014 between 8am and 8pm
It's around 50 days now since a man with severe amnesia was found wandering in a park in Peterborough.
Too upset to speak on camera, the man who hospital staff have called Robert, said,
"The last few weeks have been truly horrible. I go through so many different emotions. At times I am angry, frustrated, depressed, lost and confused. I just need to find out my name and I hope someone out there will recognise me and help"
Dr Manaan Kar Ray who is treating Robert says,
"We have to appreciate that he is the one who initiated this appeal. If he had anything to hide, why go to the media?
Normally we are talking hours. It has been 50 odd days since we found him in that park.
We have been trying our level best [to help him] by getting him out to the place where we found him."
The doctor of a man with severe amnesia said staff "were no closer to his identity" and were still appealing for information from anyone who might know he who is.
Dr Manaan Kar Ray told Good Morning Britain "Robert", as doctors are calling him, is "very keen, if anyone knows him, that they might be able to help him piece his life together."
A man who was found in Peterborough two months ago with severe amnesia has "no physical problems."
Dr Manaan Kar-Ray from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundational Trust says the man is frustrated that he does not have any recollection of his identity.
"Robert" was found in a park in Peterborough on 18 May. He has no memory of who he is, his name, age, or where he comes from.