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What Causes Memory Loss At A Young Age

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Memory Loss Causes In Young Adults

Memory Loss Quiz

Causes of memory loss in young adults could be of several types. These may range from factors causing stress, to some underlying medical conditions. Know more on this from the following article.

Causes of memory loss in young adults could be of several types. These may range from factors causing stress, to some underlying medical conditions. Know more on this from the following article.

The study of the process of human memory has been one of the most extensively studied subjects by experts not only the field of science, but in philosophy as well. The power to form memories, collect and store them, and later using them when required, is one subject that is still hot on the platter. In a laymans language, memory is nothing but the ability to collect, store, retain and recall information, which could be anything that is perceived by the eyes, heard by the ears, felt by a touch, etc. Basically, encoding, storage, and retrieval are the three basic processes that memory is made of.

Concussions And Traumatic Brain Injuries

A concussion 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.

Treatment Options For Memory Impairment

According to different memory loss forms, there are different treatment options. For mild memory issues, there are none such pharmaceutical makeups though symptomatic treatment can be done. Rest severe memory loss forms are treated with Vitamin E supplements which work as an antioxidant and cholinesterase inhibitor that forms acetylcholine at a better rate for appropriate synaptic transmission.

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When To See A Doctor For Memory Impairment

Frequent memory lapses denote that its the right time to see a doctor. To stay protected from larger memory disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s, one must see a doctor early. Progress of the disease is halted when your physician will take certain necessary actions. The physician will assess your problems and your risk factors to let you have an easy integration and to improve the condition. The disease can be reversible and irreversible depending on the damage which has occurred to the brain cells.

Infections Of The Brain Or Its Lining

What Causes Memory Loss And Forgetfulness At A Young Age?

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.

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You Could Be Drinking Or Partying Too Much

Abusing alcohol or any substance that can slow your central nervous system may affect memory as well, says Dr. Petersen. I dont want to overstate this, but clearly if someone is aging and vulnerable, two or three cocktails a night probably will catch up with you, he says. Scientists have known for years that there is evidence of brain shrinkage in people with alcohol use disorder.

Focus Issues And Memory Problems Can Be Symptoms Of An Underactive Thyroid

Famous for its near-magical abilities to slow your metabolism, mess with your periods, skew your sense of temperature, and generally induce a feeling of sloth-style sluggishness, an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, can also yield symptoms similar to depression, including memory issues and inability to focus. Luckily, slow thyroids can be fixed easily with medication.

This article was originally published on May 19, 2015

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When To See A Doctor For Memory Loss

Its time to consult a doctor when memory lapses become frequent enough or sufficiently noticeable to concern you or a family member. If you get to that point, make an appointment as soon as possible to talk with your primary physician and have a thorough physical examination. Even if youre not displaying all the necessary symptoms to indicate dementia, now may be a good time to take steps to prevent a small problem becoming a larger one.

Your doctor can assess your personal risk factors, evaluate your symptoms, eliminate reversible causes of memory loss, and help you obtain appropriate care. Early diagnosis can treat reversible causes of memory loss, lessen decline in vascular dementia, or improve the quality of life in Alzheimers or other types of dementia.

Memory Loss In Young Adults

Can Alzheimer’s Start In Your 20s?

Although many people imagine that older adults are the only ones who struggle with memory problems, memory loss in young adults is also a fairly common problem. It can be especially worrying for a young person to begin struggling with memory because of this misconception that it is strange and unusual. Read on to understand the signs, causes, and more of short-term memory loss in young adults.

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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 neurosyphilis, 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 alcoholism 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.

Why Your Memory Is Bad And What To Do About It

Edited and medically reviewed by Patrick Alban, DC | Written by Deane Alban

Memory loss happens at all ages. Knowing the difference between normal and serious memory problems is important. Learn about the actions you should take.

A bad memory is frustrating and can be downright scary.

If your memory isnt what it used to be, you might assume that your memory issues are an inevitable part of getting older.

If your memory gets bad enough, you may think that youre headed for dementia or Alzheimers.

But memory problems can happen at any age and, in fact, are usually more a result of lifestyle habits than age-related mental decline.

There are many potential reasons for a bad memory, and fortunately, most are not serious or permanent.

Just as importantly, there are many steps you can take to improve your memory.

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Your Memory Can Also Be Affected By Depression & Other Mental Health Issues

Depression is just one of many medical problems that can cause forgetfulness. “Anything that can impact the brain may be a cause of memory issues” says Scharre, including “trauma, depression, sleep issues, sleep apnea, certain medications, thyroid disease, nutritional impairments, kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, lipid disorders, etc.” In fact, forgetfulness is even sometimes considered a symptom of depression.

Why can depression mess with your memory? Because people who are depressed might have difficulty focusing, which can prevent your brain from creating new memories.

But depression isn’t permanent, and neither are depression-related memory issues: doctors find that our memories tend to go back to normal when we get a handle on our depression.

Concussions And Head Injuries

What Causes Memory Loss And Forgetfulness At A Young Age?

Concussions and traumatic head injuries can cause short-term memory impairment, but some research has found that they can also increase the likelihood for the development of dementia over the years.

Be sure to take steps like wearing protective headgear and helmets when playing sports. And, if you do sustain a concussion, it’s important to let your head fully heal before returning to regular activities and participating in sports. Discuss any headaches and concentration difficulties after a head injury with your doctor.

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Factors That May Lead To Memory Loss

  • One of the most common and possible reasons for memory loss in young adults or the elderly is associated with stress. It is nothing but a situation wherein, the brain is loaded with more work that it can do. When a person is stressed, this may signify that his brain is overworked. And this slows down the process of encoding, storing, and recalling of information in the brain. A similar but more severe effect on the brain can be caused by factors such as depression and anxiety.
  • Another common cause is any kind of injury caused to the head, from a car accident or the like. The trauma can affect the cerebrum, which is the center of memory, intelligence, emotion, etc. The severity of the condition, depends upon the extent of the damage caused by the accident. In some cases, people may even suffer permanent amnesia.
  • Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia are also known for their contribution in the onset of amnesia. Such conditions not only rob the affected person of his memory, but his cognitive abilities, as well. Initially, these conditions may cause only short term memory loss, but with time, even the long term memory starts getting affected.
  • Other causes include:
  • Impaired supply of oxygen to the brain.
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Brain tumors that might have developed or developing in the areas that control memory
  • Inflammation of the brain
  • Parkinsons disease
  • Meningitis

Surprising Causes Of Memory Loss

If you have difficulty remembering things, your mind may make the leap to Alzheimers disease but thats not the only cause of memory loss.

You can’t find your keys or you forget an appointment. For many people in middle age or older, simple acts of forgetfulness like these are scary because they raise the specter of Alzheimer’s disease.

But Alzheimers is not the only health issue that can lead to forgetfulness, which is often treatable if you know the cause, according to the National Institute on Aging. Memory loss can happen at any age and for a number of reasons.

Patients might experience memory loss and describe their symptoms similarly, but a doctor can tease apart what parts of the brain are affected, says Seth Gale, MD, a neurologist at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston.

He points out things like polypharmacy , significant depression, and poor sleep that can lead to memory complaints. When you drill down and find out what is actually happening with brain function, you can reassure someone. They have the capacity to learn and store information but because of their overloaded mental resources, they are having trouble, says Dr. Gale.

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Symptoms Of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Mild cognitive impairment is an intermediate stage between normal age-related cognitive changes and the more serious symptoms that indicate dementia.

MCI can involve problems with memory, language, thinking, and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes, but the line between MCI and normal memory problems is not always a clear one. The difference is often one of degrees. For example, its normal as you age to have some problems remembering the names of people. However, its not normal to forget the names of your close family and friends and then still be unable to recall them after a period of time.

If you have mild cognitive impairment, you and your family or close friends will likely be aware of the decline in your memory or mental function. But, unlike people with full-blown dementia, you are still able to function in your daily life without relying on others.

While many people with MCI eventually develop Alzheimers disease or another type of dementia, that doesnt mean its inevitable. Some people with MCI plateau at a relatively mild stage of decline while others even return to normal. The course is difficult to predict, but in general, the greater the degree of memory impairment, the greater your risk of developing dementia some time in the future.

Medications That Cause Memory Loss

Have you memory problems at a young age ? // Alzheimer’s // Dementia

Memory loss is an extremely common side effect of prescription drugs.

Armon B. Neel, Jr, PharmD, is a geriatric pharmacist who formerly wrote AARPs Ask a Pharmacist column and penned the eye-opening exposé Are Your Prescriptions Killing You?.

He reveals in his book that prescription drug interactions may be responsible for as many as three out of four dementia cases.

This is horrifying, and largely avoidable.

Cholesterol-lowering medications and sleeping pills are two of the worst offenders.

But not all medications that cause memory loss are prescription-only.

Some of the most popular over-the-counter remedies for treating allergies, colds, coughs, skin irritations, insomnia, headaches, and pain cause memory loss by blocking the formation of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter associated with memory and learning.

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Facts To Ease Your Mind About Memory Blips

  • People with Alzheimers arent often aware enough of their condition to recognize it and tell their doctor.
  • The first signs of Alzheimers are often forgetting how to perform activities such as driving home from the store, or fumbling for words .
  • Generally those with Alzheimers are much older than women experiencing menopause which typically happens in your mid-40s to mid-50s.
  • Midlife brain fog is treatable. Hormone therapy has been shown to sharpen a menopausal mind and may help protect you from further memory loss. According to the National Institute of Health, hormone therapy after menopause can also provide health benefits related to memory. Check with your doctor to discuss any significant decline in your memory as menopause progresses.

Is It Possible To Have Memory Loss At A Young Age

But the truth is, not all memory loss problems are necessarily age related as these problem can happen to young people as well. Minor memory lapses, such as forgetting where you placed your keys or forgot the name of someone you know, are usually the result of normal changes in your brains structure and function.

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A Note About Unproven Treatments

Some people are tempted by untried or unproven “cures” that claim to make the brain sharper or prevent dementia. Be cautious of pills, supplements, brain training computer games, or other products that promise to improve memory or prevent brain disorders. These might be unsafe, a waste of money, or both. They might even interfere with other medical treatments. Currently there is no drug or treatment that prevents Alzheimer’s or related dementias.

However, there are currently several drugs available by prescription to safely treat the symptoms of early and mid-stage Alzheimer’s. If you have been diagnosed with dementia, your doctor may suggest that you take one of them.

How to protect yourself and others from unproven treatments:

  • Beware if the product claim seems too promising and if it conflicts with what youve heard from your health care provider.
  • Question any product that claims to be a scientific breakthrough. Companies marketing these products often take advantage of people when they are most vulnerable and looking for a miracle cure.
  • Check with your doctor or health care professional before buying any product, including those labeled as dietary supplements, that promises to improve your memory or prevent dementia.
  • Report any products or supplements being advertised as a treatment for Alzheimer’s or other diseases on the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations website.

What Is Forgetfulness

Is It Old Age or Alzheimer

Forgetfulness is a persistent failure to remember. It results from changes in the brain and can be a normal part of aging or a symptom of another condition or disease. When you experience forgetfulness, you may find it harder to recall information or events, learn new things, or form new memories.

Common causes of forgetfulness include aging, side effects from medications, trauma, vitamin deficiencies, in the brain, and infections in the brain, as well as a variety of other disorders and diseases. Stress, overwork, inadequate rest, and perpetual distractions all interfere with short-term memory.

In an aging adult, forgetfulness beyond the normal rate may be a symptom of a disease like Alzheimers disease or vascular . It is important to determine the underlying cause of your forgetfulness and begin treatment as soon as possible.

Seek immediate medical care if someone has acute or sudden forgetfulness after a or when accompanied by sudden weakness or on one side of the body, severe headache, difficulty speaking, or facial droop.

If your forgetfulness seems to be progressing quickly, is persistent, or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.

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Is Your Memory Normal

Before you diagnose yourself with Alzheimer’s disease, take heart: Experts say some memory lapses are normal.

They say that memory loss is the second thing to happen as you get older. So what’s the first? Umm, I forgot! And actually, by the time you reach the end of this story, you may remember only a fraction of it. Not to worry, you’re not alone.

Experts say that mild memory loss is perfectly normal — especially as we age. That’s right, if you sometimes forget simple things, you’re not necessarily developing Alzheimer’s disease. There is a gang of people walking around just like you who occasionally misplace their keys, have that deer-in-headlights look as they search for their cars in parking lots, and can’t recall the name of one new person they met at their last office party — yes, the one from last night. And there’s a reason for those character-themed floors coupled with the happy-go-lucky music in Disney amusement park parking garages.

“If we have forgotten an appointment, we begin thinking, ‘Uh oh, is this the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease?’ and we become much more conscious, and it gets kind of a disproportionate amount of attention when it really may be something quite benign,” Stuart Zola, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Emory School of Medicine and director of Yerkes National Primate Facility in Atlanta tells WebMD.

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