Sunday, February 26, 2017

8 Causes of Memory Loss That AREN'T Alzheimer's

Worried About Dementia? There May Be Other Explanations

It's hard not to think of Alzheimer's disease when memory loss or a memory lapse darkens your day. After all, Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia are constantly in the headlines -- and of the more than five million affected Americans, 200,000 are under age 65. But many other situations can also produce this worrisome symptom.

Memory loss is just one Alzheimer's warning sign. Others, for example, include personality changes and problems managing money.

Your safest bet: "If you're concerned about memory issues, see a specialist," says psychiatrist Gary Small, director of the UCLA Center on Aging and author of several books about memory and cognition, including The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head. An evaluation will examine the type of memory loss, its timing, environmental factors (such as injuries or drug use), and other symptoms.

(See also Worried About Your Memory? 5 Signs It's Serious.)

The eight following conditions are among the non-Alzheimer's causes of memory loss to consider:

Memory Loss Cause #1: Chronic Stress

Why it happens: When the body goes on hyperalert to face a crisis, a series of biochemical changes takes place that fuels the fight-or-flight response system. The chemical cortisol increases in the brain, for example, to mobilize energy and alertness. That's great when a saber-toothed tiger is chasing you. But when tension and anxiety become chronic, as with work or family problems, the system is overloaded with substances that are intended for emergency use only.

Result: The brain actually loses cells and has trouble forming new neurons. This creates problems with cognitive thinking, especially with regard to retaining new information.

What else to look for:
  • Is your sleep disrupted, or are you getting less of it? Sleep deprivation compounds the effects of stress on the brain, because memories are sorted and organized during normal sleep.
  • Are you multitasking your way through a stressful period? Straining the attention system drains memory, too.  (Click to Continue)

Full Article & Source:
8 Causes of Memory Loss That AREN'T Alzheimer's


Tristan said...

Thank you NASGA. We as a society are too quick to label everything Alzheimers and scare people into premature graves!

Viki Scheldrup said...

I was thinking about this last night - I have had episodes of looking for something I had in my hand among other memory related stuff. I am 67. Upon consideration I think that our society moves so much faster than it used to and I for one am going to slow down! I can't slow others down and will probably annoy some people by doing things slower - but for my mental health i need to do this. I will take time to repeat things I need to remember - I will force myself to read the whole article, page, notice. I will place my keys by the door when I come in the house. and many more little things that will help my peace of mind. Thank you NASGA for posting this to make us think. Alheimers is the most terrifying condition i can imagine and yes we do jump to that conclusion when maybe we just need to slow down!