Memory loss is something that everybody has to deal with in some form or another, but some people may have to contend with more severe memory loss than others. Several different factors determine who experiences memory loss and how severe it is. Keep reading to learn more about the causes and treatment for memory loss.
Although it is often thought of as a problem specifically of the elderly, memory loss can affect anybody at any age. Memory loss can range from mild, such as somebody misplacing their glasses, to severe, such as somebody no longer being able to recognize a close family member. Memory is generally split into two types - short-term and long-term - and there can be problems with each type.
Short-term memory is the memory that collects all of the information that has been recently encountered so that it can be recalled again if there is a need. One part of the short-term memory, working memory, is specialized to be very short-term and is how we can make sense of reading a sentence - our working memory remembers the beginning until we reach the end.
It is fairly common to have problems with short-term memory, but memory loss as a condition begins when more memories are lost than normal. Symptoms of short-term memory loss include:
There are several possible causes of short-term memory loss:
As its name implies, long-term memory last for a long time - often for years - and is generally made up of the information that was important enough for the brain to encode into long-lasting memories. That is why most of the information in this type of memory has greater significance to the person who remembers it.
Long-term memory loss is less common and more impairing than short-term memory loss. Symptoms of long-term memory loss include:
Fewer conditions are associated with long-term memory loss, as it is a more serious condition, these are:
To treat memory loss, it is necessary to determine the underlying cause and to develop a treatment plan. In many cases, it may be simple - such as getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night - while in others, it may be more difficult.
Memory loss can be managed while the underlying cause is being investigated and treated. Some management techniques are:
People will often have difficulty remembering what happened a few minutes or hours ago, use a planner to keep track of appointments and chores, determine one specific location for objects like keys, phones, and wallets.
CST involves activities and exercises that stimulates thinking, concentration, communication, and memory. It's usually done in small groups, involves talking about day-to-day interests, reminiscence information relating to current time a place.
For severe memory loss, a doctor's advice is necessary for devising a treatment plan. If the symptoms appeared suddenly, if you are suffering from extreme memory loss - such as losing track of your belongings constantly - or if you are experiencing any symptoms of long-term memory loss, consult a doctor as soon as possible. Learn more about treating and managing memory loss.
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