Memory Problems2018-09-27T01:50:45+00:00

Memory Problems

The term ‘memory problems’ encompasses a broad spectrum of issues, ranging from simple memory lapse or forgetfulness, right through to more serious cognitive disorders, which can include short or long-term memory loss, amnesia, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or dementia.

A neuropsychologist can help diagnose the cause of memory problems.

Memory is thought to be controlled by the hippocampus component of the brain, along with emotion and the autonomic nervous system. Although the word ‘memory’ is used as a noun, it is not actually a part of the brain, but rather the process of storing and recalling information. This process has three stages:

  • Encoding: taking in information
  • Consolidation: processing and storing the information
  • Retrieval: recalling the information

Normal memory problems or forgetfulness may include instances of:

  • remembering someone’s face but not their name
  • walking into a room and forgetting why
  • misplacing everyday objects such as keys or glasses but remembering where things are generally kept
  • recognising what direction to travel in – but not necessarily the street names

More serious memory problems affecting day-to-day life can sometimes be an indication of a more serious condition, such as the onset of dementia. If memory problems become a point of concern or distress, it is recommended that you are assessed by a medical professional.

Risk factors for memory problems

There are some lifestyle or life cycle factors which may contribute to memory problems, such as:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Excess fat around the midsection
  • Depression
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Thyroid problems
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Genetics
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Taking some medications
  • Poor sleeping habits
  • Antihistamines

Certain diseases or conditions can also cause memory problems, including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Vascular Dementia
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Head injury
  • Diabetes
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Brain trauma/injury
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke

Symptoms of a more serious memory problem

While it is completely normal to have moments of forgetfulness, or the occasional memory lapse – particularly with age – frequent or recurring memory problems may be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. If this is the case, it is important that it is diagnosed early, as some forms of dementia can be treated.

The following symptoms may be an indication of a more serious underlying issue:

  • Getting lost while taking familiar routes
  • Worrying about your memory problems
  • Your memory problems provoke a strong emotional response
  • Your memory problems have caused you to change your lifestyle
  • Frequently misplacing things
  • A change in personality
  • Family or friends have pointed out your memory problems to you
  • Finding it difficult to make decisions
  • Repeating the same questions or having the same conversations

Top tips for memory care

  • stimulate and challenge your mind with regular brain exercises
  • aim to constantly learn new things, such as a second language or short course
  • get regular exercise and be physically active
  • eat a healthy diet, rich in omega fatty acids and good fats and low in saturated fats
  • take care of your heart – often heart and brain health go hand-in-hand
  • socialise, interact and converse with others regularly
  • aim to get enough sleep (ideally up to 8 hours) each night

Effective treatment of memory problems

Treatment usually depends on the underlying cause or reason for your memory problems. A change in diet, supplements, brain-boosting exercises or a tailored sleep program can often help to aid memory loss and improve brain function.

Memory Problems

The term ‘memory problems’ encompasses a broad spectrum of issues, ranging from simple memory lapse or forgetfulness, right through to more serious cognitive disorders, which can include short or long-term memory loss, amnesia, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or dementia.

A neuropsychologist can help diagnose the cause of memory problems.

Memory is thought to be controlled by the hippocampus component of the brain, along with emotion and the autonomic nervous system. Although the word ‘memory’ is used as a noun, it is not actually a part of the brain, but rather the process of storing and recalling information. This process has three stages:

  • Encoding: taking in information
  • Consolidation: processing and storing the information
  • Retrieval: recalling the information

Normal memory problems or forgetfulness may include instances of:

  • remembering someone’s face but not their name
  • walking into a room and forgetting why
  • misplacing everyday objects such as keys or glasses but remembering where things are generally kept
  • recognising what direction to travel in – but not necessarily the street names

More serious memory problems affecting day-to-day life can sometimes be an indication of a more serious condition, such as the onset of dementia. If memory problems become a point of concern or distress, it is recommended that you are assessed by a medical professional.

Risk factors for memory problems

There are some lifestyle or life cycle factors which may contribute to memory problems, such as:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Excess fat around the midsection
  • Depression
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Thyroid problems
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Genetics
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Taking some medications
  • Poor sleeping habits
  • Antihistamines

Certain diseases or conditions can also cause memory problems, including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Vascular Dementia
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Head injury
  • Diabetes
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Brain trauma/injury
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke

Symptoms of a more serious memory problem

While it is completely normal to have moments of forgetfulness, or the occasional memory lapse – particularly with age – frequent or recurring memory problems may be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. If this is the case, it is important that it is diagnosed early, as some forms of dementia can be treated.

The following symptoms may be an indication of a more serious underlying issue:

  • Getting lost while taking familiar routes
  • Worrying about your memory problems
  • Your memory problems provoke a strong emotional response
  • Your memory problems have caused you to change your lifestyle
  • Frequently misplacing things
  • A change in personality
  • Family or friends have pointed out your memory problems to you
  • Finding it difficult to make decisions
  • Repeating the same questions or having the same conversations

Top tips for memory care

  • stimulate and challenge your mind with regular brain exercises
  • aim to constantly learn new things, such as a second language or short course
  • get regular exercise and be physically active
  • eat a healthy diet, rich in omega fatty acids and good fats and low in saturated fats
  • take care of your heart – often heart and brain health go hand-in-hand
  • socialise, interact and converse with others regularly
  • aim to get enough sleep (ideally up to 8 hours) each night

Effective treatment of memory problems

Treatment usually depends on the underlying cause or reason for your memory problems. A change in diet, supplements, brain-boosting exercises or a tailored sleep program can often help to aid memory loss and improve brain function.

Let us help you

Our caring team is here to help. Our services aim to help both your brain and body achieve optimal health. Contact our Neuropsychological & Neuromusculoskeletal team for effective advice, assessment and management of your concerns and issues.

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03 9478 1810

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Preston, Victoria 3072

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