Most of our daily chores and activities are carried out simply because we remember to do them. The loss of memory can be a frightening experience. This article talks about various causes that may lead to this condition.
Memory is all about storage, retention, and recall of information. This information includes past experiences, influences, knowledge, thoughts, etc. We need to draw on this information to conduct most of our tasks. This function is carried out by our memory. Memory is of two kinds – long term and short term; failure of either or both of which, results in failure to adequately store, retain, and retrieve the information.
Short Term Memory Loss
Short term memory is also known as recent or working memory. It is basically a system for temporary storage and management of information, required to carry out simple and complex cognitive tasks. Some of these tasks include learning, reasoning, evaluation, and comprehension. This memory is vulnerable to many obstructions and interferences. Several causes like brain damage, trauma, stress, or depression may result into damage of this memory.
Following are common causes that lead to short term memory loss.
» Atlantic Mussel Food Poisoning
Atlantic mussels contain a toxin called domoic acid in them, which is known to affect the nerve tissues.
» Hormonal Imbalance
Loss of short term memory is strongly associated with low levels of estrogen. Many women are known to be affected by this condition during menopause.
Dementia is a mental disorder, that is progressive in nature. This condition is characterized by mental confusion and impaired thought. It is caused due to age-related mental illness.
» Prolonged Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are known to cause a chemical imbalance in the brain, which makes it difficult to pay attention to things. As a result, it becomes difficult for depressed people to store and retrieve information.
» Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
A persistent debilitating health, results in chronic fatigue. This slows down the chemical reaction in the brain, causing memory loss.
» Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is an incurable, degenerative, and terminal brain disease that leads to memory loss. It is most commonly seen in older individuals.
» Lead Poisoning
Exposure to lead causes lead poisoning. This affects the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells, and in time, attacks the nervous system.
» Brain Injury
Any injury to the brain, even partial, can cause memory loss. People with brain disorders where tissues are damaged, become susceptible to this condition.
» Substance Abuse
Although it is highly debatable, excessive use of alcohol, or drugs like marijuana or hashish is believed to be a major cause of short term memory loss.
» Unstable Blood Sugar Levels
Unstable blood sugar levels, especially low blood sugar levels can cause the brain to slow down. Doctors usually recommend having six small meals a day, to keep blood sugar levels stable.
This is more of a psychological cause. It is human nature to suppress painful, or traumatic episodes of life. These memories then get erased from the brain.
It is important to have a medical practitioner assess the cause for the memory loss. Getting treated on time is imperative, since it could be an indicator of more complex physical or mental problems.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.