Retrograde vs anterograde or antegrade

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Retrograde and anterograde or antegrade are antonyms, which are words that have opposing meanings. We will look at the definitions of retrograde, anterograde and antegrade, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Retrograde means moving backward or directed backward, reverting to an earlier, worse condition, or to degenerate. When describing amnesia, retrograde means the period of time immediately preceding the event that caused the amnesia. When used as an astronomical term, retrograde describes the rotation or orbit of a heavenly body that is the reverse of the normal rotation or orbit in the solar system. The word retrograde is derived from the Latin word retrogradus, which means going backward.

Anterograde means moving forward or directed forward. When describing amnesia, anterograde means the period of time after the event that caused the amnesia.The word anterograde was coined in the 1800s using the prefix ante- meaning before, patterned on the word retrograde.

Antegrade is a synonym for anterograde.


Since tropism is common, negative results are hard to interpret: is there no connection (i.e., neural pathway), or did the retrograde virus simply fail to infect the target neuron? (Science Daily)

At the end of this week, shortly after 7:00 Thursday evening Eastern time, the planet Mercury will enter apparent retrograde motion, marking the beginning of a three-week span of misfortune down on Earth. (Time Magazine)

For example, Korsakov syndrome, which results from severe thiamine deficiency and consequent damage to the mammillary bodies and dorsomedial nucleus of the thalamus, affects episodic memory more than semantic memory, and anterograde memory (ability to form new memories) more than retrograde memory (store of old memories), while sparing short-term and procedural memory.  (Psychology Today Magazine)

Forceful antegrade injections should be avoided, because hydraulic force can propagate a dissection along the guidewire.(Cath Lab Digest)