Memory loss is a common problem, and it can range from misplacing keys to a more widespread confusion about recent events. Some types of memory loss are more severe than others, so it is important to figure out what exactly is the cause of short-term memory loss in your case to ensure that it does not require medical attention. There are several things that can cause short term memory loss, so read on to learn more about the potential reasons for this condition.
One very common cause of short-term memory loss in women is the changes in hormones that occur during the menopause transition. Estrogen, an important hormone in women's bodies, tends to decrease during menopause, and this can have a detrimental effect on the ability to remember.
Several things can cause the brain to function differently, and stress is one of the most common problems that alters how the brain works. High levels of stress can make you more likely to be forgetful because you have so much to worry about.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep is absolutely essential for the brain. Sleep helps the brain cement memories, moving short-term memories into long-term ones and consolidating information. Without an adequate amount of sleep, the brain may not be able to form memories as easily.
Depression is not just a disorder that affects mood. Because it is rooted in the brain, it can affect many other functions as well, such as the ability to concentrate. This can increase the chances of having trouble with memory, since the brain has difficulty focusing enough on an event to create a memory.
Several drugs, both prescribed medications and otherwise, can have effects on memory. Some common medications that may cause problems with short-term memory are anti-anxiety medications, cholesterol-lowering medications, anti-epilepsy medications, and even antihistamines. However, abusing alcohol and other drugs - especially narcotics - can cause memory issues as well.
Concussions can cause damage that lasts longer than the headache that comes along with the injury. While memory loss from a single concussion is likely to improve, multiple concussions can cause serious damage to the brain's ability to form memories.
Sometimes, certain diseases might cause some problems. Brain infections caused by HIV/AIDS or Lyme disease are common culprits for memory loss, as are problems like brain tumors or dementia. Reversible conditions like a vitamin B12 deficiency may also be the cause.
Some of these causes for memory loss may also occur at the same time - for instance, high levels of stress can influence how much sleep you get - which can increase the chances of memory problems. To learn about ways to improve memory, read about some natural supplements for memory lapses.
- Food and Drug Administration. (2010). Coping with Memory loss. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm107783.htm
- Jacobs, E. & D'Esposito, M. (2011). Estrogen shapes dopamine-dependent cognitive processes: Implications for women's health. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(14), 5286-5293. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21471363
- National Institutes of Health. (2015). Memory Loss. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003257.htm