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Sudden Memory Loss Causes

'Amnesia' is the medical term used to describe memory loss. While performing daily activities, you may forget to bring some medicines or some items from the 'grocery list'. Many a times, you misplace your keys and waste half an hour in searching those keys. This is quite natural. But, inability to recall past or recent events indicates problem in memory center of the brain. Abnormal degree of forgetfulness is referred to as memory loss. When does sudden loss of memory occur? How to identify symptoms of sudden memory loss? The following section provides information on sudden memory loss causes and symptoms.

Sudden Memory Loss Causes

Memory loss can be sudden or gradual. Sudden memory loss can be long term or short term memory loss, To how much extent the memory gets affected depends upon the age of the patient, cause, severity of the symptoms, availability of the prompt and correct treatment, etc. Sudden short term memory loss causes and long term memory loss causes can be the same but the nature of memory that gets affected may be different. Here is a list of sudden memory loss causes:
  • A trauma that affects the part of the brain which contains memory centers.
  • Strokes, usually caused by very high blood pressure
  • Excessive smoking, as it increases the risk of stroke
  • Vascular dementia leading to alterations of blood vessels and problems in the supply of blood to the brain
  • Abnormal anxiety, fury and excessive stress leading to Transient Global Amnesia
  • Dementia or delirium
  • Prolonged exposure to toxins
  • Brain tumor
  • Certain chronic illnesses or recurrent health problems
  • Lewy body disease
  • Wilson's disease (too much copper in body)
  • Lack of oxygen to blood
  • Disrupted blood supply to the brain
  • Severe deprivation of sleep
  • Seizures, e.g. epilepsy seizures is one of the common cause of sudden memory loss.
  • Intake of certain medications, for example, statins taken to reduce high cholesterol levels
  • Infection in brain
  • Meningitis, inflammation of brain membranes
  • Aging, age related natural memory loss
  • Head injury
  • Low or high thyroid levels (under active or overactive thyroid)
  • Malnutrition, vitamin deficiency like deficiency of vitamin B12
  • Anemia and electrolyte imbalances
  • Pseudodementia resulting out of depression, anxiety and stress, one of the major cause of memory loss in young adults.
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Fronto-temporal dementia caused by damage to the frontal lobe and/or the temporal parts of the brain.
  • Transient ishemic attack or stroke that lasts only a few minutes
  • Multi-infract dementia caused by multiple strokes (disruption of blood flow to the brain)
  • Cardiovascular disorders like congestive heart failure
  • Seizures like temporal lobe epilepsy
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Encephalitis or inflammation of the brain and spinal cord usually caused by viral infection
  • Wernickle-Korsakoff syndrome, brain damage caused by a lack of vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare, degenerative, and a fatal brain disorder
  • Huntington's disease, an hereditary disorder of the central nervous system
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Low fluid intake leading to dehydration
  • Barbituites and Benzodiazepines medications (central nervous system depressants)
  • Drug abuse, consumption of amphetamines, marijuana and cocaine
These were some of the main memory loss causes. Prompt and proper treatment can help the person to regain memory. Early identification of the memory problem is therefore very important. Let us take a look at the memory loss symptoms.

Memory Loss Symptoms

Memory loss symptoms may vary from person to person and they may vary according to the causes of memory loss. Here is a list of common symptoms:
  • Difficulty in planning and organizing
  • Disorientation in unfamiliar places
  • Getting lost in places one is familiar with
  • Describing the same thing again and again or asking the same question repeatedly
  • Inability to remember recent events
  • Confusion about time, place, people
  • Forgetting or losing belongings like keys, mobile, wallet regularly
  • Forgetting appointments or engagements
  • Difficulty in maintaining daily routines
  • Difficulty finding and mixing words, loss of ability to use right words
  • Behavioral changes or mood changes with no apparent reason
  • Unable to perform a familiar task in spite of carrying it out several other times
  • Social withdrawal, anxiety
Mild memory impairment is reversible. Memory loss treatment mainly varies according to the cause and degree of effect. I hope the above description of sudden memory loss causes, helps take proper precautions to prevent memory loss.

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