If It Happens, This Should Help!

Memory loss causes are plenteous.  There are ways to minimize the loss, however, whether it is Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia.

Everyone forgets things at some time.  It could be where you left your car keys or a phone number.  That is normal.

There is even what is known as normal age-related loss of memory.  But, those "senior moments" will not prevent one from living a full and productive life.  Some adaptation may be necessary as we age. such as a to-do-list or setting a timer to remind us to do something.

See Memory and Memory Part 2 for how we remember. 

Finding the Cause of Memory Loss!

Sometimes the cause it's a medication.  There are many medications that have the potential to cause memory loss.  Depression and stress are also common causes.  Other listed causes are: alcohol, tobacco, sleep deprivation and nutritional deficiencies. 

These causes are reversible if the offending agent is removed.  Even a migraine headache can result in memory loss.

Of course, head injury such as a concussion or stroke can be responsible for dementia.  It is important to diagnose the reason for the memory loss, if possible.  More serious reasons include brain tumors and blood clots.

The good news is that memory loss is not an inevitable part of the aging process.  The brain is quite capable of producing new neurons (brain cells) at any age.

Memory Loss Causes - MCI and Alzheimer's disease!

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a gradual decline in mental function and memory.  It is different for each person, of course, as different areas of cognition can be affected.

I remember an elderly couple who didn't seem to have any trouble getting around until the wife died.  He was the driver and she knew the directions.  After the wife died, the husband often got lost.

Alzheimer's disease is a common and intractable condition that results in:

  • Cognitive decline
  • Mood or personality changes
  • Memory loss

Alzheimer's disease can make it difficult or impossible to perform simple tasks such as getting dressed, showering or even paying bills.  It can easily cause confusion resulting in not knowing the day of the week or month or even the year. 

Alzheimer's patients are victims of a continuous degenerative disease.  The disease may be responsible for poor choices or judgments and withdrawal from social activities.

Telltale signs of Alzheimer's is forgetting common words or getting them mixed up.  It can also take longer to complete familiar tasks, misplace items or store them in inappropriate places.

Dementia often results in cell degeneration or cell death.  This causes a miscommunication between the brain cells (neurons).  It may be due to genetics (heredity), environment, or lifestyle - or a combination of all three.

Preventing Memory Loss and Cognitive Decline!

Just as physical exercise can keep your muscles in tone, mental exercise can help your brain to work better and reduce the risk of mental decline.  Yes, that means crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and card games or games of any type that include strategy. 

Basically, it is a "use it or lose it" approach.  Reading books and newspapers is a good practice to prevent the onset of memory loss.

When there are signs of cognitive decline, it can be delayed by exercising, keeping social commitments, watching your diet, getting plenty of sleep, listening carefully during conversations, managing stress, and always keeping your car keys and wallet in the same place.


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