About Memory Problems
Memory problems are common and experienced by many people during their lives. Not all memory problems mean that there is something seriously wrong. Lack of sleep and being tired are common factors that can affect memory and concentration. Strong emotions can also affect our ability to recall things. Individuals who are very depressed often have poor memory which can improve once their depression gets better.
Physical Causes of Memory Problems
There are also some physical health conditions that might cause poor memory: thyroid disorder, deficiency in certain vitamins (for example vitamin B12), and imbalances in minerals. Brain injuries or traumas might also cause memory problems.
Individuals who abuse alcohol are at risk of developing memory problems because they may have a thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is known as vitamin B1 and is very important for brain cells’ metabolism. This deficiency causes nerve cell damage in the brain and over time, can lead to alcohol-related dementia.
Age Related Memory Problems
Memory problems are concerning due to their link with dementia. It is important to point out that with age, most people get more forgetful and often experience occasional moments of forgetfulness or difficulty finding the right word.
Age-related memory problems do not mean that the person has dementia. Dementia affects more than just the memory function. Individuals with dementia have problems in other areas such as with language, thinking, communication, social behaviour etc. There are special cognitive assessments and other investigations that help to clarify a dementia diagnosis. A brain scan, for example, might show if there are any changes in the brain that might explain memory problems.
There are effective treatment options available for dementia patients. One of these treatments is medication and cognitive enhancers that are available include Donepezil/Aricept. Some patients benefit from cognitive rehabilitation and/or nutritional improvements. It is advisable to keep physically active whenever possible.
To summarise, it is important to have a proper assessment of all memory problems by a qualified psychiatrist to identify the reason and to have an effective treatment plan.
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