What is memory loss?
Memory loss or amnesia refers to the loss of memories, such as facts, information, and experiences. People with amnesia are usually lucid and know who they are, but may have trouble when learning new information and forming new memories.
How common is memory loss?
This health condition is extremely common. It commonly affects more old people than youngsters. It can affect patients at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
What are the symptoms of memory loss?
The common symptoms of memory loss are:
- Unable to remember new information. (anterograde amnesia).
- Impaired ability to recall past events and previously familiar information (retrograde amnesia).
- False recollections (confabulation), either completely invented or made up of genuine memories misplaced in time.
- Confusion or disorientation.
When should I see my doctor?
What causes memory loss?
Amnesia can result from damage to brain structures that form the limbic system, which controls your emotions and memories. These structures include the thalamus, which lies deep within the center of your brain, and the hippocampal formations, which are situated within the temporal lobes of your brain.
What increases my risk for memory loss?
There are many risk factors for memory loss, such as:
- Brain surgery, head injury or trauma;
- Alcohol abuse;
- Medications such as antidepressants, antihistamines, tranquilizers and sleeping pills;
- Stress and depression;
- Lack of vitamin B1 and B12in diets.
Diagnosis & treatment
How is memory loss diagnosed?
To evaluate memory loss, your doctor will take a medical history, perform a physical exam and ask questions to test mental ability. Depending on the results, further evaluation may include blood and urine tests, nerve tests, and imaging tests of the brain, such as CAT or MRI.
How is memory loss treated?
Treatment for memory loss depends on the cause. No medications are currently available for treating most types of amnesia. In the case of nutritional deficiency, treatment includes replacing this vitamin and providing proper nutrition.
A person with amnesia may work with an occupational therapist to learn new information to replace what was lost or to use intact memories as a basis for taking in new information or use smart technology to remind them about important events or to take medications.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage memory loss?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with memory loss:
- Avoid excessive alcohol use;
- Physical fitness;
- Keep learning;
- Don’t smoke;
- Maintain a healthy diet;
- Get a good night’s sleep.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Amnesia. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/amnesia/basics/treatment/con-20033182 . Accessed September 26, 2016.
Memory loss. http://www.webmd.com/brain/memory-loss#2-5 . Accessed September 26, 2016.
Preventing memory loss. http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/preventing_memory_loss . Accessed September 26, 2016.
Review Date: October 6, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017