Definition

What are memory disorders?

Memory disorders are the result of damage to neuroanatomical structures that affect the storage, retention, and recollection of memories. Memory disorders can become worse if the patient does not get proper treatment.

At some degree, memory problems are a common part of aging. However, there are differences between normal changes in memory from aging and the type of memory loss associated with memory disorders. Some memory problems are the result of treatable conditions.

How common is memory disorders?

This health condition is extremely common. It commonly occurs in the elders. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of memory disorders?

The common symptoms of memory disorders are:

  • Confabulation – invented memories or real memories recalled out of sequence
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Difficulty handling day-to-day affairs, such as balancing a checkbook, keeping appointments, or preparing meals
  • Forgetting people, facts, and events that were previously known well
  • Getting lost and misplacing items
  • Increased difficulty in following directions or taking a step-by-step approach to a familiar task
  • Irritability
  • Language difficulties, such as mixing up words or trouble remembering a word
  • Neurological disorders such as tremors, uncoordinated movements
  • Poor performance on memory tests
  • Repeating the same stories and/or questions

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes memory disorders?

There are many causes of memory disorders:

  • Medications
  • Minor head trauma or injury
  • Depression or other mental health disorders
  • Alcoholism
  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Tumors

Risk factors

What increases my risk for memory disorder?

There are many risk factors for memory disorder, such as:

  • Brain trauma (e.g., surgery, head injury)
  • Stroke
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Risk factors for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) include high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes
  • People with lower levels of education, physical and mental exercise, and socialization
  • People with a mutation of the APOE (apolipoprotein E) gene also are at higher risk of developing memory problems

Diagnosis & Treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

 

How is memory disorder diagnosed?

First, your doctor will gather all information about your medical history, including the use of prescription and over the counter medicines, diet, past medical problems, and general health. Because a correct diagnosis depends on recalling these details accurately, the doctor also may ask a family member for information about the person.

There are also tests of mental abilities (tests of memory, problem-solving, counting, and language). Blood and urine tests may be done to help the doctor find any problems.

A brain CT scan may help the doctor find out the reason. A scan also may show signs of normal age-related changes in the brain. It may be necessary to have another scan at a later date to see if there have been any changes in the brain.

How is memory disorder treated?

Specific treatment is necessary for people who have memory disorders. For example, drugs are available to treat memory problems related to Alzheimer’s disease, and drugs to help lower blood pressure can help reduce the risk of more brain damage from dementia related to high blood pressure.

Depending on the cause, your doctor will decide the kind of treatment. In many cases, it may be reversible with treatment.

For example, memory loss from medications may resolve with a change in medication. Nutritional supplements can be useful against memory loss caused by a nutritional deficiency. And treating depression may be helpful for memory when depression is a factor.

In some cases, if a patient has a stroke, physical as well as mental therapy may help them recover.

Lifestyle changes & Home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage memory disorder?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with memory disorder:

  • Increase interests or find hobbies, as well as stay involved in activities that stimulate both the mind and body.
  • Pay attention to physical fitness and exercise can go a long way toward keeping a healthy state of mind.
  • Limiting the use of alcoholic beverages is important or quit it is the best, because heavy drinking over time can cause permanent brain damage.
  • Many people find it useful to plan tasks; make “things to do” lists; and use notes, calendars, and other memory aids. They also may remember things better by mentally connecting them to other meaningful things, such as a familiar name, song, or lines from a poem.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: April 16, 2017 | Last Modified: April 16, 2017

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