Maybe you can’t remember a person’s name after meeting them a few times, or you’ve forgotten where you put your book down. These are examples of perfectly normal forgetful moments in life. Ongoing problems with memory loss, as well as other cognitive issues, however, may signal a larger problem than simply forgetting or not paying attention.
At Amavi Integrative Mental Wellness, located in Niwot, Colorado, our team of mental health experts specializes in memory disorders, and we understand the many different conditions that can lead to memory loss and other cognitive issues.
Here, we explore six possible reasons that you or a loved one may be experiencing ongoing memory loss issues and how we can help.
Before we get into the potential causes of memory loss, we want to underscore an important point — memory loss is just one sign of declining cognitive function. In most of the conditions we list below, you may also notice other issues that accompany the memory loss, such as:
These are all grouped under cognitive function, and memory loss is just one symptom of cognitive impairment.
While many conditions can lead to memory loss, we’re going to focus on some of the more common ones.
This condition describes a small decline in cognitive function, including memory loss and forgetfulness, but the issue isn’t enough to affect function. Mild cognitive impairment may be an early sign of dementia, but not always.
Dementia isn’t one disease but rather an umbrella term that encompasses several conditions that are caused by abnormal changes in your brain. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 60-80% of cases of dementia. This type of dementia occurs when plaques form in your brain and cut off neural connections.
The second most common type of dementia is vascular dementia, a condition in which the blood supply in the brain is compromised.
Despite what you see in the movies, amnesia is a complex condition in which someone loses memories, as well as the ability to absorb new information. In general, people with amnesia do remember who they are, but they can lose certain information. In many cases, amnesia develops due to brain trauma.
For people who incur a traumatic brain injury, amnesia is only one possible outcome. Other issues may include memory loss that’s accompanied by cognitive impairment.
People who develop infections in their brains can also struggle with memory loss. For example, HIV/AIDS, encephalitis, meningitis, and Lyme disease have all been associated with memory loss.
There are certain mental health issues that count memory loss among the symptoms, including depression and bipolar disorder. As well, anxiety can lead to memory loss. With these disorders, a type of white noise or fog can overcome thinking and brain function, causing the person to be more forgetful.
No matter the cause of your memory loss, our team is ready to work with you. Through psychotherapy and medications, our goal is to help improve your memory or slow the progression.
To get started, schedule an appointment at our office in Niwot, Colorado, also serving the Boulder and Longmont areas, for an evaluation with one of our ADHD experts.