Memory loss is a much dreaded condition that can happen to anyone. It may occur in one instant and may be recovered from after a short while, though in some cases, recovery takes longer and rigid clinical intervention has to be sought. The rate of recuperation depends on the type, nature and cause of memory loss.
The following can cause memory loss:
- Chronic diseases. People suffering from diabetes, hypothyroidism, hypertension and cancer will more likely go through memory loss. Cancer stricken patients, for instance, while undergoing chemotherapy, may lose their memory at some point in time.
- Old age. Depression commonly sets in as a person ages. When one is depressed, his body is subjected to chemical imbalances that may contribute to forgetfulness.
- Decreased blood and oxygen supply in the brain. Conditions like strokes, heart attacks, serious head injury and suffocation are strong factors that cause sudden loss of memory due to the decreased blood supply and oxygen to the brain.
- Dropped blood sugar level. Nerve cells need glucose to maintain energy. If there is low glucose supply in the nerves, they will shrink and fail to function.
- Stress and overload of mental tasks. People who overwork themselves usually suffer from burn out resulting in faltering or total loss of memory.
- Infections of the nervous system resulting in brain inflammation.
- Severe trauma. The brain has a defense mechanism that shuts down when a person experiences severe emotional trauma. This is called dissociative amnesia where the brain withdraws from conscious recollection.
- Diminished levels of estrogen in women. Decreased mental function resulting in memory loss usually happens to women the in post-menopausal stage, because their estrogen supply dramatically falls.
Symptoms of sudden memory loss vary depending on its underlying causes. Here are the most common symptoms:
- Inability to focus or concentrate. This may cause poor performance in tasks and agitation while trying to finish whatever kind of work.
- Insomnia, confusion and disorientation. As a consequence of memory loss, a person experiences confused with simple everyday matters such as routines and physical arrangement of objects in the home or work place. He may also get lost in crowds and may not know which train or bus to ride home or cannot locate his car in the parking area.
- Convulsions, spasms or seizures.
- Deteriorated motor skills. Memory loss may be accompanied by slurry speech and lack of movement coordination. This applies most especially to stroke and heart attack patients.
- Loss of mathematical skills. The person suffering from memory loss can also forget basic math procedures such as adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.
- Trouble in learning new things or retaining new information.
- Failure to recognize people, recall past events and places. On the other hand, people suffering from memory loss may get into memory falsification. Because their long term memory is not doing well, they try to invent or make up stories or memories that did not really happen or exist.
- Other signs such as chest pain, fever, weakened legs and diminished alertness that may result in a state of unconsciousness or coma.
Sudden memory loss is generally temporary and may be treated as long as it is attended to immediately. So if you think you are having memory problems, consult a physician at once so he can evaluate your condition and recommend the necessary therapy.