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Symptoms of Short-term Memory Loss

Vipul Lovekar Nov 1, 2018
Progressive loss of memory can be scary. Short-term memory loss symptoms should be recognized in time, as they indicate a brain or spinal cord disorder. Here are the causes, symptoms, and treatment of short-term memory loss.
A person who is suffering from short-term memory loss can remember incidents from 20 or 40 years ago, but does not remember the details of things that happened 15 minutes prior. Such loss of memory can interfere with daily life significantly, and can create several problems.
The person may not be able to perform his/her daily activities properly. Memory loss, particularly for recently acquired information, is often the first symptom of dementia (progressive loss of memory and other aspects of thinking), and if not treated promptly, it can become worse with time.
So, everyone should be aware of short-term memory loss symptoms and their effects. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can help improve the memory of the person.


Anxiety and Depression: This can cause chemical imbalance in the brain, which eventually can severely affect the memory of the person. He/she may not be able to concentrate. He/she won't be able to pay attention to what others are saying or focus on his/her work. Ability to remember things is significantly affected, if the person is stressed or distracted.
Stroke: It is a very common cause for memory loss in older people. Lack of blood supply to the brain (even for a few minutes) leads to stroke. The person may remember childhood events, but may not be able to recall what he or she had for breakfast.
Mental Trauma: The brain naturally tries to suppress any traumatic experience. The central nervous system tries to erase some painful memories, which sometimes can lead to this condition. As explained earlier, excessive stress caused by an emotional trauma can also lead to short-term loss of memory.
Brain Injury: Any injury to the brain can lead to short-term memory loss. The memory may improve gradually over time.

Substance Abuse: Over consumption of alcohol or drugs like marijuana can lead to short-term memory loss. Excessive smoking affects the lungs, thus, the brain may get less amount of oxygen than required. This can affect the memory of a person.
Other Common Causes: Nutritional deficiencies (especially vitamin B1 and B12), excessive intake of medicines (antidepressants, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, etc.), insufficient sleep (insomnia), thyroid gland dysfunction, Alzheimer's disease and infections like HIV, tuberculosis, and syphilis, etc., can affect the brain and short-term memory of a person.

Associated Symptoms

Dementia: This disorder is progressive in nature. Dementia is characterized by incoherent thoughts and mental confusion.

Vision Impairment: Vision impairment may not be experienced by all, but it can be experienced in case of brain injury along with memory loss.
Diminished Cognitive Ability: Cognition is the psychological result of the perception, learning, and reasoning. Experience of diminished cognitive ability is a symptom, which can be very traumatic.

Impaired Muscular Coordination: This is likely to be seen in certain disorders of the brain and spinal cord.


Mind Games: There are many games and brain exercises that can help sharpen the memory (try memorizing a list of items, and remember them after a break of five minutes) of a person. They must be played as often as possible.
Medication and Psychiatric Drugs: There are many drugs that can help improve the memory of a person, but they have to be taken as prescribed by the doctor. These drugs directly affect the central nervous system, so utmost care should be taken while consuming them.
The person who is experiencing short-term memory loss may suffer from many psychiatric problems as well. In such a case, his medication may involve psychiatric drugs.
Diet and Exercise: Nutritious diet and regular exercise can increase the blood's ability to transport oxygen to the brain cells, and thus can help improve the brain function.
Symptoms of short-term memory loss can vary from person to person. Memory loss is a condition which should be monitored precisely.
Most of the time, short-term memory loss is reversible with treatment, however, the success rate depends upon various factors such as the cause of memory loss, severity of the accompanying symptoms, overall response of the person, time of diagnosis, and type of treatment.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.