Everyone will forget something at some point of time and it is quite natural. But what if you have no idea what you did last week? Or if you no longer remember people you know? In here you can read all about memory loss. First we will explain what memory loss exactly is, making a distinction between short-term memory, long-term memory and sensory memory. We then discuss the possible causes of memory loss and explain the relationship between memory loss and stress. Finally, we give you tips that help you to reduce memory loss.
What is memory loss?
The memory consists of the short-term memory, the long-term memory and the sensory memory. If a mistake occurs somewhere, memory loss can occur. Memory loss means that you cannot remember certain details and this condition is often called amnesia in the medical world. There are various reasons for the same, age-related causes of memory decline play an important part in here.
Permanent memory loss
In some cases there may also be permanent memory loss (partial or total), experts distinguish two forms of this type of memory loss, retrograde amnesia, where you cannot remember anything from events for a particular incident that is the cause of your memory loss (for example, a car accident) and anterograde amnesia, in which you cannot remember anything from the moment that a certain incident was the cause of your memory loss.
Temporary memory loss
In most cases, temporary memory loss lasts no longer than a day, but in certain cases it can last for several days. There are different types of memory loss that only last for a short time, such as acute memory loss. A recognizable form of acute memory loss is the TOT phenomenon, tip of the tongue, where a word lies on the tip of your tongue but you do not get it. Everyone is sometimes bothered by this, although you often do not think about it any further.
Causes of memory loss
Diseases such as dementia, stroke or old-age diseases can lead to partial or complete memory loss. Forms of memory loss that are common in the elderly are dementia and Alzheimer’s. As you get older, information is processed less quickly and you can remember your information less quickly. People at a younger age can also become demented. Physical injury can cause temporary or complete memory loss. Just think of a hard fall or blow to your head, or a skull fracture. Even with less serious injuries, such as a concussion, short-term memory loss can occur. In most cases you cannot remember anything from the event. These complaints usually last for a few days, depending on the severity of your concussion.
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to temporary or partial memory loss and in some cases even cause brain damage. When you suffer from memory loss and especially experience problems with the short-term memory, age-related causes of memory decline probably comes in to play. Other factors such as low blood pressure, anemia, dehydration, malnutrition or lack of vitamin B12 can also lead to temporary or severe memory loss.