Causes Of Short Term Memory Loss During Menopause
During menopause, short term memory issues – known as memory lapses or brain fogs – can infiltrate every aspect of a woman’s life, from her productivity in the workplace to her relationships with loved ones. Frustrating and sometimes distressing, brain fogs can make it difficult to concentrate, adapt to a change in routine, and process, store, and retrieve information. The causes of short term memory loss are varied; while the primary cause is most likely hormonal, other dietary, biological, and environmental factors can trigger or exacerbate the symptom, too.
Other Causes Of Short
It’s normal to be concerned if you experience occasional memory lapses, but you can rest reassured that not all short-term memory problems are a sign of Alzheimer’s. In fact, there’s a wide variety of reasons you might experience short-term memory impairment, many of which are temporary or easily treatable.
- Acute grief
- Conditions in the brain
- Certain diseases of the thyroid, kidney, or liver
- Medications, among them the antidepressant Paxil and the heartburn drug Tagamet
- Drinking too much alcohol
Aging May Contribute To Short
Generally speaking, causes the brain to become less efficient over time. Although age-related cognitive impairment is a relatively normal consequence of aging, it is nonetheless one of the most common and widespread causes of short-term issues in the general population.
Multiple studies have reported that older adults tend to perform noticeably worse on both short-term memory and working memory tasks compared to young adults .
Additionally, a study with over 55,000 participants reported extremely steep drop-offs in visual working memory that begins to occur after the age of 20, and which continues to worsen as a persons age increases .
According to one animal study in mice, lower levels were reported to contribute to short-term memory loss . However, further research would be needed to confirm whether serotonin levels have the same effects in humans as well.
Concussions And Traumatic Brain Injuries
A and other more serious traumatic brain injuries occur when a sudden impact makes the brain move. The brain goes in one direction, bounces against the skull, and then snaps back in the opposite direction.
Your child or teen can suffer a mild to severe TBI after a direct blow to their head. But they can also end up with a concussion after a strong impact to their body.
Memory loss is one of the most common symptoms of TBIs. In most cases, TBIs affect short-term memory, so your child may not remember what happened right before their injury.
Most children heal quickly after a concussion, but even with a mild TBI memory loss can continue for weeks or months.
Supplements That May Affect Short
One of the more popular ways that ordinary, otherwise-healthy people often try to enhance their cognitive functioning is by supplementing with various dietary compounds, and sometimes even by using so-called drugs.
While there is some preliminary evidence that certain compounds and supplements may have some effect on memory in healthy human users, much of this research is still in a very early stage, and none of these approaches currently have sufficient evidence to be officially approved for the purpose of cognitive enhancement.
Always speak to your doctor before starting any new supplements, as they could potentially interact with any pre-existing health conditions, other ongoing medications, or other lifestyle and dietary factors.
With that in mind, heres what the science currently says about a few compounds that may have memory-related effects.
, one of the most popular nootropic supplements, has been reported to increase short-term memory in 60 dyslexic children over 12 weeks, at least according to one early study .
In another study in patients who underwent cardiac bypass surgery, piracetam was reported to improve attention and verbal and nonverbal short-term memory . However, since this finding came from patients with a specific medical condition, its not certain whether healthy users would experience similar effects to these, and more research will be needed to find out for sure.
Stress Anxiety And Depression
Significant stress or anxiety can lead to problems with attention and memory, cautions Lyketsos. This is particularly common among people who may be juggling home and work responsibilities and are not sleeping well. Usually, easing stress can improve memory, Lyketsos says.
Untreated chronic stress can lead to depression, which could also affect brain function, according to research published in the Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences. A mood disorder may improve with medication and counseling, notes the National Institute on Aging.
What Is Short Term Memory Loss
Short term memory loss is an impaired ability to form new episodic memories. Episodic memories are central to ones personal experience:
Where you parked your car last night
Recalling details from a conversation you had 10 minutes ago
Remembering to take a new medication, prescribed yesterday
Short term memory loss can have a substantial and negative impact on a persons quality of life. The inability to form any new episodic memories renders a person to live in a perpetual now state, where new events are never encoded for later recall.
How To Potentially Improve Short
In the sections below, well outline some of the medications, medical techniques, dietary compounds and supplements, and other factors that have been reported to possibly have an effect on peoples short-term memory.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the vast majority of this scientific research is still in a very early stage, and a lot more research will be needed before any solid conclusions can be made regarding their potential effects on short-term memory in healthy human users.
As such, we are not officially recommending or endorsing any of the specific compounds or techniques described below, as the science behind them is still much too early to come to any firm conclusions.
As always, none of the strategies below should be used to replace conventional medical care. If you believe that you might be experiencing significant difficulties with short-term memory or any other cognitive functions, it is extremely important to talk to your doctor first.
Alcohol Or Illicit Drugs
Drinking alcohol or using illicit drugs can impair your memory, both in the short term and long term. From to an increased risk of dementia years later, these substances can significantly harm your memory, among many other things. Too much alcohol can also cause Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which if treated immediately, may be able to be partially reversed in some people.
Lifestyle Causes Of Short
The causes of short-term memory loss are not always medical.
Often an unhealthy lifestyle is to blame.
This means that by simply making healthier choices, you can stop and even reverse memory loss and other signs of mental decline.
For example, even something as simple as being chronically dehydrated can impact your short-term memory.
Fortunately, due to a property called , your brain has the capability to grow, change, and improve throughout your lifetime.
So no matter how bad your memory is now, you can halt its decline and even improve your memory provided you start doing the right things.
While all lifestyle factors affect your general brain function to some degree, three of the worst offenders that are specifically harmful to short-term memory are lack of sleep, stress, and sugar.
Condition Involving Inability To Understand Or Express Words
Any new speech difficulty should be seen by a doctor immediately because it could be the sign of brain or nerve damage.
Top Symptoms: difficulty speaking or understand words or finding the right word, loss of vision, difficulty coming up with the names of common objects or people, arm weakness
Urgency: Emergency medical service
What Causes Memory Problems In Children
Noticing a memory problem in your child or teen can be incredibly unnerving. You may wonder if their memory lapses are normal for their developmental stage or if a glitch in their memory signals a more serious problem.
Rather than worrying about the possibilities, connect with our team at THINK Neurology for Kids. We specialize in determining the cause of memory problems. Then we can work with you and your child to overcome the challenges and restore their memory.
Read on to learn about the most common causes of memory problems in children.
What Other Cognitive Changes Occur With Normal Aging
- Language is modestly affected by normal aging. Language is the words, their pronunciation, and the ways they are used in combination to be understood.
- Language comprehension is typically preserved, as are vocabulary and syntax .
- Trouble remembering names and finding words in conversations are very common and verbal fluency can also be affected
- While verbal intelligence remains unchanged with aging, the speed of information processing gradually slows .
- Executive functions remain normal for everyday tasks, but are slowed when faced with new tasks or divided attention .
- A slowing of the speed of cognitive processing and reaction time occur with aging.
Acute Injury Or Illness
Acute injuries or sudden illness can disturb memory, particularly when they affectÂ the brain, as with concussions. Even mild brain injuries can interfere with short-term memory. Acute illnesses are a problem, too. We can see this effect in migraines, strokes, and certain bacterial infections and viruses.
Symptoms Of Short Term Memory Loss
The beginning of short term memory loss may show symptoms like forgetting about the meal, misplaced keys and so on. These symptoms are considered as mild forgetfulness. Mild forgetfulness is not a high alert disorder. We should start the treatment immediately after observing the initial symptoms.
Some of the initial symptoms of short term memory loss are:
- Not able to recall a persons name you met a few minutes back.
- Misplacing things
- Not being able to remember the thing you just read.
- Forgetting why you entered the room.
- Forgetting the car key
Similarly, there are many other symptoms that need to be taken seriously. These symptoms need special medical attention.
- Forgetting the location of your home.
- Not being able to remember day to day activities.
- Repeatedly asking the same question.
- Dont remember whether you had your food or not.
Causes Of Memory Loss
Here are some of the more common things that can cause memory loss:
. A number of prescription and over-the-counter medications can interfere with or cause loss of memory. Possible culprits include: , , anti-anxiety medications, muscle relaxants, , sleeping pills, and pain medications given after surgery.
, , or drug use. Excessive alcohol use has long been recognized as a cause of memory loss.
harms memory by reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to the . Studies have shown that people who smoke find it more difficult to put faces with names than do nonsmokers. IllegalÂ drugs can change chemicals in the that can make it hard to recall memories.
Sleep deprivation. Both quantity and quality of are important to memory. Getting too little or waking frequently in the night can lead to , which interferes with the ability to consolidate and retrieve information.
Depression and stress. Being depressed can make it difficult to pay attention and focus, which can affect memory. and can also get in the way of concentration. When you are tense and your mind is overstimulated or distracted, your ability to remember can suffer. caused by an emotional trauma can also lead to memory loss.
Nutritional deficiency. Good — including high-quality and fats — is important to proper function. Deficiencies in vitamin B1 and B12 specifically can affect memory.
Brain Exercises To Combat Memory Loss
Just as physical exercise can make and keep your body stronger, mental exercise can make your brain work better and lower your risk of mental decline. Try to find brain exercises that you find enjoyable. The more pleasurable an activity is to you, the more powerful its effect will be on your brain. You can make some activities more enjoyable by appealing to your sensesby playing music during the exercise, for example, or lighting a scented candle, or rewarding yourself after youve finished.
Lifestyle Factors And Activities That May Affect Short
In addition to taking supplements, there are also a variety of lifestyle factors that have been associated with differences in peoples short-term memory abilities, according to some early research.
For example, playing action video games has been associated with increased visual short-term memory, at least according to one preliminary study . Similarly, one other study in young male adults reported that playing action video games may be associated with enhanced transfer of visual information into visual short-term memory .
According to one preliminary study, performing cognitive training may enhance visual short-term memory in some users .
Other forms of brain training have also been reported to potentially improve working memory and other cognitive functions in some users .
However, the concept of brain training is still controversial, and not all scientists agree that it actually has significant effects in the long term. More research will be needed to know for sure but, on the plus side, these training programs are safe and relatively widely available, so they could be a relatively easy strategy to test out for yourself.
For seniors, keeping your brain stimulated, such as by doing crossword puzzles, could also potentially help with working memory . Maintaining a habit of keeping cognitive stimulated is believed to be one of the main lifestyle factors that may help protect against age-related cognitive decline in general.
Infections Of The Brain Or Its Lining
Infections like HIV, tuberculosis and herpes can cause memory problems. HIV puts the function of nerve cells at risk by infecting the cells that protect and support them. The virus can also trigger inflammation that can damage the brain and cause forgetfulness. With tuberculosis, memory loss can be a complaint. However, prompt treatment can resolve these problems. Meanwhile, herpes simplex virus can cause a rare neurological disorder called herpes simplex encephalitis. This inflammation of the brain can lead to memory loss. Antiviral drugs may help if treatment is started right away.
Drugs That Cause Short
Sometimes its the drug treatment for a health condition, not the condition itself, that causes memory loss.
There are many prescription drugs that list short-term memory loss as a side effect.
A group of drugs called can trigger short-term memory loss by blocking the action of acetylcholine, the main neurotransmitter associated with learning and memory.
Acetylcholine is also essential for turning short-term memories into long-term ones.
The level of acetylcholine naturally declines with age which puts older adults at greater risk for memory loss induced by their medications.
Two of the worst kinds of medications for short-term memory loss are anti-anxiety drugs and narcotic painkillers .
And its not only prescription drugs that can affect your memory.
Some over-the-counter remedies such as the antihistamine Benadryl are anticholinergic and have been linked to dementia.
And as you might expect, recreational substances ranging from alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana to heroin and cocaine take a toll on short-term memory.
How Insomnia Causes Short
Getting adequate sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your brain, yet over 50 million Americans struggle with chronic insomnia.
Sleep-deprived brains are inefficient and have to work harder.
Lack of quality sleep wreaks havoc on both your long-term and short-term memories.
Normally, you should be able to remember three to seven bits of information at a time, but when you dont get enough quality sleep, that number plummets to one or two.
Neurological Disorders That Can Cause Short
Alzheimers disease is widely known to cause a variety of cognitive problems, including significant impairments in short-term memory .
Although Parkinsons disease is commonly considered a movement disorder, it is also associated with short-term memory loss especially visual short-term memory .
Patients with fibromyalgia often report suffering from deficits in working memory that effectively mimic the effects of being 20 years older. However, it is unclear whether this is due to problems in the brain itself, or whether this is because they are easily distracted due to their chronic symptoms .
One study in 531 patients with multiple sclerosis reported a significant decrease in episodic and verbal short-term memory in this patient population .
Disturbances in are also widely believed to have a significant impact on a persons short-term memory capacities. For example, one study in 21 people with REM-sleep behavior disorder reported a significant decline in visual short-term memory in these patients .
Finally, Korsakoffs syndrome is a chronic memory disorder typically caused by alcoholism or vitamin deficiencies. It also commonly involves impairments in several aspects of short-term memory .
Their Overall Behavior Has Shifted
- They show signs of decreased judgment and difficulty in decision-making, which could lead to impulsive or irresponsible choices.
- They withdraw socially, which could involve difficulty with conversation and forgetfulness. This might cause a person to feel overwhelmed by hobbies, work, or social activities they once enjoyed.
- They show changes in mood or personality, suddenly feeling confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious, becoming easily upset, and possibly leading to personality changes that are out of character.
Since dementia is progressive, its symptoms worsen over time. In its early stages, Alzheimers disease typically affects short-term memory. However, as the disease progresses, people gradually experience morelong-term memory loss, or amnesia.
What Memory Problems Are Not Considered A Part Of Normal Aging
Memory problems that begins to interfere with normal daily life and activities are not considered normal aging. Forgetting where you put your glasses is a simple sign of forgetfulness, disorganization, or normal aging; however, forgetting what your glasses are used for or that they are worn on your face is not a normal memory problem.
The memory loss and thinking problems seen in mild cognitive impairment or dementia are not normal aging. Researchers now believe that mild cognitive impairment is a point along the pathway to dementia for some individuals and the stage between the mental changes that are seen in normal aging and early-stage dementia. Not all individuals diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment will develop dementia. The following highlights some of the abnormal changes in memory that are seen in MCI and .
Memory problems in people with mild cognitive impairment
Memory problems in people with dementia
Has many of the same symptoms of MCI plus as dementia progresses:
- Is unable to perform complex daily tasks .
- Loses insight or awareness of memory loss.
- Displays poor judgment.
- Declines in rational thinking and ability to problem solve.
- Memory, language, and cognition become so impaired that self-care tasks can no longer be performed without assistance from another person.
Drugs That May Contribute To Short
Statins, a family of drugs that lower levels, have sometimes been associated with short-term loss .
Two common recreational drugs, and , have also been reported to significantly impair attention and short-term memory in people who abuse them for recreational purposes .
The neurotransmitter is particularly well-known for its role in memory. Scopolamine hydrobromide a drug that blocks acetylcholine has been reported to produce dementia-like deficits in short-term memory, according to studies in both young and elderly people .
Additionally, a study involving 72 social drinkers, alcohol was reported to significantly impair working memory .
Benzodiazepines, a class of drugs also commonly known as tranquilizers due to their sedative effects, have been reported to prevent the transfer of information from short-term memory to long-term memory .
Reversible Causes Of Memory Loss
Its important to remember that memory loss doesnt automatically mean that you have dementia. There are many other reasons why you may be experiencing cognitive problems, including stress, depression, and even vitamin deficiencies. Thats why its so important to go to a doctor to get an official diagnosis if youre experiencing problems.
Sometimes, even what looks like significant memory loss can be caused by treatable conditions and reversible external factors, such as:
Depression. Depression can mimic the signs of memory loss, making it hard for you to concentrate, stay organized, remember things, and get stuff done. Depression is a common problem in older adultsespecially if youre less social and active than you used to be or youve recently experienced a number of important losses or major life changes .
Vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 protects neurons and is vital to healthy brain functioning. In fact, a lack of B12 can cause permanent damage to the brain. Older people have a slower nutritional absorption rate, which can make it difficult for you to get the B12 your mind and body need. If you smoke or drink, you may be at particular risk. If you address a vitamin B12 deficiency early, you can reverse the associated memory problems. Treatment is available in the form of a monthly injection.
Are you taking three or more drugs?
Fatigue Recent Memory Loss And Tires Quickly
- Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Reviewed on 10/9/2020
This group of symptoms is fairly nonspecific and can be found in a wide variety of medical conditions. Short-term memory loss can be a sign of mental or emotional conditions as well as brain damage from or deprivation. Many infections ranging from Lyme disease to can also cause this group of symptoms. Because these symptoms occur with many conditions, talk with your doctor to help determine the cause.
While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:
Youve Probably Experienced Embarrassing Moments Because Of Short
Its awkward when you cant remember someones name when you met only ten minutes earlier. Its also frustrating to find the keys that you put away only five minutes before. You can avoid these situations if you know what causes short-term memory loss. You may feel surprised that you do most of them, unconsciously, every day.
Finding The Cause Of Memory Loss
If you find that you are increasingly forgetful or if memory problems interfere with your daily life, schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause and best treatment.
To evaluate memory loss, your doctor will take a medical history, perform a physical exam — including a neurologic exam — and ask questions to test mental ability. Depending on the results, further evaluation may include blood and tests, nerve tests, and imaging tests of the brain such as computerized axial tomography scans or magnetic resonance imaging .
Four Types Of Memory Loss
Memory loss isnt a simple thing, and there are many factors at work when considering the process of memory loss. There are four different types of memory, sensory, short-term, working and long term memory.
Short-Term MemoryShort-term memory loss is one of the first symptoms of Alzheimers disease. You might recall your loved one asking the same question multiple times in the course of a day or a couple of days. This is commonly described as the inability to recall information that was just recently given to you. The amount of time concerning short-term can be from a couple of seconds, up to a few days.
Sensory MemorySensory memory is considered the shortest term memory. It usually is only 3 seconds and it relates to recalling sensory experiences Sensory memory is often not referred to so much in detecting Alzheimers because it is subtle and these memories are too short.
Working MemoryWorking memory is also noticed in the early stages of Alzheimers disease, as it is closely linked to the short-term memory. Working memory is what allows our brains to keep limited amounts of information stored up long enough to use it. It helps us to process our thoughts and to form plans, as well as to develop ideas. As you can see, the short-term memory and the working memory work together.
Less Common Causes Of Memory Loss
Other conditions that can lead to problems with memory include:
- Infection: Memory loss may be attributed to severe infection around the brain, including , Gale says.
- Head injury: Symptoms of a mild brain injury may include confusion and trouble with memory and concentration, according to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
- Tumors: Memory and the ability to process information may be affected by brain tumors, the American Brain Tumor Association says. In addition, treatments for a tumor can affect your memory, including brain surgery, chemo, or radiation therapy.
- Alcoholism, Substance Abuse: Both and drug abuse can affect memory, says Lyketsos. A study found that men who drank heavily showed signs of mental decline one to six years earlier than light drinkers.