Forget a word when communicating, it's hard to remember the way,… are normal symptoms, common as you age. However, if you have sudden and severe memory loss, such as forgetting your child's name or suddenly not knowing where you are, it can be a warning sign of a serious problem.
1. Causes of sudden memory loss
Dementia can be a sign of Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia. However, when there is abnormal memory loss, suddenly it can originate from a number of causes such as:
1.1. Types of drugs
Many of the medications you take can affect memory. Some common drugs are:
- Anxiety medications: Alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), flurazepam (Dalmane), lorazepam (Ativan);
- Medications for depression or analgesic: Amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor);
- Drugs for the treatment of hypertension: Atenolol (Tenormin), captopril (Capoten), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), propranolol (Inderal), sotalol (Betapace);
- Drugs for the treatment of high cholesterol: Atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor), simvastatin (Zocor);
- Analgesics: Fentanyl (Duragesic), hydrocodone (Norco,Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo), morphine (Astramorph, Avinza), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet);
- Medications for menopause: Acetazolamide (Diamox), carbamazepine (Tegretol), gabapentin (Neurontin), lamotrigine (Lamictal), pregabalin (Lyrica), valproic acid (Depakote);
- Insomnia medications: Eszopiclone (Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata), zolpidem (Ambien).
If you use one of these or other medications but worry it may cause temporary or long-term memory loss, you should ask your doctor if you can switch to another drug.
Memory and emotions are closely related. Depression,stress or anxiety can have a huge impact on concentration. And when you can't focus, it's hard to remember everything. So, if you feel bored or lose interest in your previous interests, you should see a psychiatrist for treatment. Your doctor may prescribe medications or psycho therapy to treat depression in patients.
1.3. Vitamin B12 deficiency
Dietary intake too little vitamin B12 can also negatively affect memory. The cause is that vitamin B12 helps the body use energy from food, protecting neurons so that you can think and focus better.
The human body does not produce vitamin B12 on its own. You can get this vitamin when consuming foods such as meat, eggs, fish, milk and cheese. A vegetarian may not receive enough vitamin B12 from the diet. And if there is a lack of this vitamin, you need to supplement it as prescribed by your doctor.
1.4. Alcohol abuse
Using large amounts of alcohol will make it difficult to form new memories or store the information that you have absorbed. If you drink too much for a short time, you may have temporary memory loss. If you continue to drink too much, memory loss can lead to permanent memory loss.
1.5. Head injuries
A fall, car accident or another strong impact on the head can make you remember people or a few events. Even if a head injury does not unconscious you, it can still lead to memory loss. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may have temporary or permanent memory loss.
A stroke occurs when blood is not brought to several areas of the brain. When not nourished by oxygen-rich blood, brain cells die. After a stroke, you may have temporary memory loss or long-term memory loss. You may also be forgotten about what you've learned or are easily confused.
To protect blood vessels and prevent strokes, you need:
- Control blood pressure and cholesterol levels by regulating diet, exercise and medication;
- Treatment of high blood sugar if diabetic;
- No smoking.
Dementia is a condition where you suddenly can't remember everything about yourself or life. It can appear after injury or brain damage. Transient memory loss is a form of dementia that you suddenly forget where you are, what happened recently. This condition can occur after you have a traumatic brain injury, after intense exercises, there are negative emotions,… The condition is quite rare and does not require treatment.
1.8. Brain tumors
Brain damage caused by tumors or treatments for brain tumors can affect memory. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery can affect the patient's ability to think and remember. In addition, cancer can also make the person so tired that it is impossible to think clearly. Therefore, to reduce the risk of sudden memory loss during the treatment of brain tumors, you should eat in mode of eating, have a proper rest regime.
1.9. Have thyroid problems
The thyroid gland produces the speed control hormone at which the body turns food into energy. When the thyroid gland produces too little hormones (thyroidfailure ), the whole body will slow down. Patients may feel tired, depressed, and forgetful. For diagnosis, the doctor will do a blood test to check the patient's thyroid hormone levels. If thyroid hormone levels are low, patients will be prescribed thyroid hormone supplements.
2. How to diagnose sudden memory loss
If you are worried about the risk of abnormal memory loss,you can visit your doctor for the necessary tests, determine the level of memory loss and diagnose the cause of the condition.
The doctor will ask the patient and relatives some questions such as: When does the memory problem begin; what drugs do you use in what dosage; what have you done to deal with dementia; how much alcohol you drink; have you recently fallen or fallen, suffered a head injury; do you feel anxious or sad, depressed,… In addition, the doctor can ask the patient for a general healthexamination, blood test and perform brain imaging methods,…
3. Treatment interventions for people with sudden memory loss
Treatment of sudden memory loss depends on the cause of this condition. Some treatments include:
- Surgery, radiotherapy or brain tumor chemotherapy;
- Use drugs for the treatment of blood clots in the brain;
- Treatment of head injuries;
- Medications for mental health problems;
- Changes in the type of drug used;
- Nutritional supplements;
- Rehabilitation or other support for people with substance use disorders.
In addition, you can overcome memory decline by:
- Vitamin B12 supplements if there is a deficiency of vitamin B12;
- Ginkgo biloba supplements to improve memory and enhance concentration;
- Curcumin supplements – extracted from turmeric – to improve intellectual and memory function;
- Go to bed early and get enough sleep;
- Exercise regularly;
- Eat healthy foods , includingplenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats;
- Perform activities that motivate the brain to work such as puzzles;
- Clean your home more neatly to avoid getting a lot of attention;
- Have the right to-do lists and schedules to increase concentration.
Memory loss is part of the aging process and it does not have a serious impact on life. However, sudden memory loss, abnormalities can be a sign of serious health problems. Therefore, if you are worried about your memory deterioration, you should see a doctor.
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Source: webmd.com, mayoclinic.org, healthline.com
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