Memory loss can be a mystifying and concerning mental health experience. However, by understanding its causes, you can fight the fear it often brings along. For that matter, Evoke Neuroscience will discuss the most common causes of memory loss, helping to enhance your understanding of this complex phenomenon.
As you age, you often experience mild memory challenges, like forgetting a name or misplacing certain items. These minor hiccups are usually part of a natural brain process. Other than that, certain areas of the brain involved in memory, such as the hippocampus, naturally degenerate with age, which can contribute to forgetfulness.
Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
Emotional health plays a highly crucial role in your memory function. High levels of stress hormones can prevent the brain from creating new memories or retrieving existing ones. Aside from that, certain conditions like anxiety and depression often negatively impact attention and focus, which can impair the ability to retain new information.
Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of severe, progressive memory loss. It is a neurodegenerative condition that destroys neurons, leading to significant cognitive decline, including memory loss. As the disease progresses, memory loss intensifies, eventually disrupting daily living activities and independence.
Stroke or Traumatic Brain Injury
Physical harm to the brain can result in memory loss. For one, a stroke or injury can damage areas of the brain responsible for memory, resulting in temporary or permanent memory loss. Similarly, post-traumatic amnesia is a common condition after a traumatic brain injury.
Nutritional shortcomings can lead to memory impairment. For one, a deficiency of vitamin B12 – which is essential for optimal brain function – can contribute to memory problems. Evoke Neuroscience But in general, without adequate nutrition, the brain might struggle to perform necessary functions, including memory retention.
Lastly, certain types of medications can also affect one’s memory. For one, medications including antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-anxiety drugs, and sleep aids may have memory loss as a potential side effect. Also, chemotherapy can lead to memory lapses, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as “chemo brain.”