Memory Disorders and Their causes
Do you have mild memory lapses from time to time. You go from the
kitchen to the bedroom to get something, only to find yourself
wondering what you needed. You can't find your car keys one day and
your reading glasses the next. You forget what you wanted to buy,
forgot to take your medicine.
Lapses such as these are usually signs of a abnormal brain that's constantly, sorting, storing, and retrieving information.
Does the memory loss disrupt daily living? "If memory loss prevents someone from doing activities that they had no trouble handling before, like balancing a checkbook, keeping up with personal hygiene, or driving around, that should be checked.
How often do memory lapses occur? It's one thing to occasionally forget where you parked your car, but it's not normal to forget where you parked every day or to forget appointments over and over. Frequent memory lapses are likely to be noticeable because they tend to interfere with daily living.
What kinds of things are being forgotten? "It's normal to forget the name of someone you just met, but may not be normal to permanently forget the name of a close friend or relative," Hart says. "It also may not be normal to never remember meeting a person after you have spent a great deal of time with them." Most people have trouble remembering some details of a conversation, but forgetting whole conversations could signal a problem. Other red flags: frequently repeating yourself or asking the same questions in the same conversation.
Are there signs of confusion? Serious memory lapses may cause individuals to get lost in a familiar place or put something in an inappropriate place because they can't remember where it goes. Putting the car keys in the refrigerator is an example.
Is the memory loss getting worse? Memory loss that gets progressively worse over time should be evaluated by a health professional.
Medications. Examples of medications that can interfere with memory include over-the-counter and prescription sleeping pills, over-the-counter antihistamines, anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, some medications used to treat schizophrenia, and pain medicines used after surgery.
Heavy alcohol use can cause deficiencies in vitamin B1 (thiamine), which can harm memory.
Stress, particularly due to emotional trauma, can cause memory loss. In rare, extreme cases, a condition called psychogenic amnesia can result. "This can cause someone to wander around lost, unable to remember their name or date of birth or other basic information, get help today from us .
Depression, which is common with aging, causes a lack of attention and focus that can affect memory. "Usually treating the depression will improve mood and the memory problems may then also improve," Mani says.
Head injury. A blow to the head can cause a loss of consciousness and memory loss. "Memory loss from head trauma typically stays the same or gradually gets better, but not worse," Mani says.
Infections. People with HIV, tuberculosis, syphilis, herpes, and other infections of the lining or substance of the brain may experience memory problems.
Thyroid dysfunction. An underactive or overactive thyroid can interfere with remembering recent events.
Sleep deprivation. Lack of quality sleep--whether from stress, insomnia, or sleep apnea--can affect memory. We can evaluate and check this for you.
Nutritional deficiencies. Deficiencies of vitamins B1 and B12 can affect memory. Such deficiencies can be treated with a pill or an injection.
Normal aging. As part of the normal aging process, there should be no effect on memory,
Mild cognitive impairment. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition characterized by a memory deficit beyond that expected for age, which is not sufficient to impair day-to-day activities.
Dementia see Celiac disease and dementia page, dementia page-2