General Practice 2022

Memory lossória: 9 main causes (and how to treat)

Memory lossória: 9 main causes (and how to treat)
Memory lossória: 9 main causes (and how to treat)

There are several causes for memory loss, the main one being anxiety, but it can also be associated with several conditions such as depression, sleep disorders, medication use, hypothyroidism, infections or neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease.

Most of the causes are preventable or reversible, with lifestyle habits such as meditation, relaxation techniques and memory training, but if in doubt, it is important to consult a neurologist or geriatrician to investigate the possible causes. of memory loss and start the correct treatment.

The main causes of memory loss and ways to treat them are:

1. Stress and Anxiety

Anxiety is the main cause of memory loss, especially in young people, as moments of stress cause the activation of many neurons and regions of the brain, which makes it more confusing and makes it difficult to perform even for a task simple, like remembering something.

For this reason, it is common to have a sudden memory loss, or a lapse, in situations such as an oral presentation, an exam or after a stressful event, for example.

How to treat: Treating anxiety makes memory return to normal, which can be done with relaxing activities such as meditation, yoga, physical exercise or with psychotherapy sessions. For cases of intense and frequent anxiety, it may be necessary to use medication, such as anxiolytics, prescribed by the psychiatrist.

2. Lack of attention

The simple lack of attention in some activity or situation, makes you forget some information much faster, therefore, when you are or if you are very distracted, it is easier to forget details such as an address, the phone number or where the keys were kept, for example, not necessarily being a he alth problem.

How to treat: memory and concentration can be trained with exercises and activities that activate the brain, such as reading a book, taking a new course or simply, a crossword puzzle, for example. Meditation is also an exercise that encourages and facilitates the maintenance of focus.

3. Depression

Depression and other psychiatric diseases such as panic syndrome, generalized anxiety or bipolar disorder are diseases that can cause attention deficit and affect the functioning of brain neurotransmitters, being an important cause for memory alteration and even can be confused with Alzheimer's disease.

How to treat: treatment with antidepressants or medications guided by the psychiatrist to improve symptoms should be started. Psychotherapy is also important to aid in treatment. Understand how depression treatment is done.

4. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is an important cause of memory loss, because, when not treated properly, it causes slowing of metabolism and impairs brain function.

Generally, memory loss from hypothyroidism is accompanied by other symptoms such as excessive sleep, dry skin, brittle nails and hair, depression, difficulty concentrating and intense tiredness.

How to treat: the treatment is guided by the general practitioner or endocrinologist, with Levothyroxine, and its dose is adapted to the degree of the disease of each person. Understand how to identify and treat hypothyroidism.

5. Lack of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs in vegans without nutritional monitoring, people with malnutrition, alcoholics or people who have changes in the absorption capacity of the stomach, as in bariatric surgery, as it is a vitamin that we acquire through a balanced diet and, preferably with meat.The lack of this vitamin alters brain function, and impairs memory and reasoning.

How to treat: replacement of this vitamin is done with balanced diet guidelines, nutritional supplements, or in case of malabsorption by the stomach, with vitamin injections.

6. Use of medication for anxiety

Some medicines can cause a mental confusion effect and impair memory, being more common in those who use sedatives frequently, such as Diazepam and Clonazepam, for example, or it can be a side effect of medicines of various types, such as anticonvulsants, neuroleptics and some drugs for labyrinthitis.

These effects vary from person to person, so it is always important to tell your doctor about the medications used if you suspect a memory impairment.

How to treat: it is recommended to talk to the doctor about changing or suspending possible medications associated with memory loss.

7. Drug use

Excessive alcohol and the use of illicit drugs such as marijuana and cocaine, in addition to interfering with the level of consciousness, have a toxic effect on neurons, which can impair brain functions and memory.

How to treat: It is important to stop using illegal drugs and consume alcohol in moderation. If it is a difficult task, there are treatments that help against chemical dependence, and they are oriented at the he alth center.

8. Sleep less than 6 hours

Altering the sleep cycle can impair memory, as the lack of daily rest, which should be, on average, 6 to 8 hours a day, makes it difficult to maintain attention and focus, in addition to impair reasoning.

How to treat: better sleep can be acquired with regular habits such as adopting a bedtime and getting up routine, avoiding coffee consumption after 5pm, in addition to avoiding the use of cell phone or watching TV in bed.More severe cases can be treated with anxiolytic drugs, guided by a psychiatrist or family doctor.

Check out the main strategies to regulate sleep and when it is necessary to use medication.

9. Alzheimer's Dementia

Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative disease of the brain, which occurs in the elderly, which impairs memory and, as it progresses, interferes with the ability to reason, understand and control behavior.

There are also other types of dementia that can also cause memory changes, especially in the elderly, such as vascular dementia, Parkinson's dementia or Lewy body dementia, for example, which must be differentiated by the doctor.

How to treat: after the disease is confirmed, the neurologist or geriatrician can start anticholinesterase drugs, such as Donepezila, in addition to indicating activities such as occupational therapy and physiotherapy, so that the person can maintain their functions as long as possible.Learn how to identify and confirm if it's Alzheimer's disease.

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