We see that one person who was fit got an accident and loosed his previous memory. Then we see people who are apparently well but showing progressive memory loss. What are the reasons behind this memory loss?
In case of accident due to severe trauma to the brain, loss of brain functions occur which lead to loss of memory. It can be temporary or it can be permanent depending upon the level of injury and severity of the injury.
We know that some memories last for only a few seconds while others last for hours, days or years. So we classify memory into three types
- Short-term memory
- Intermediate-term memory
- Long term-memory.
They are also frequently divided according to the type of information that is stored into two more types
- Declarative memory: It is the memory of various details of integrated thoughts e.g. memory of important experiences
- Skill memory: it is associated with motor activities of the person’s body such as the skill developed for learning driving, hitting a football etc.
Progressive loss of memory is due to certain diseases. These diseases produce degenerative changes in the brain which affect areas of brain processing the memory and result in slow loss of memory. Many such diseases have been known these days. Some are Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Alzheimer disease, alcoholism, pick disease, dementia, HIV, brain tumor and Parkinson’s disease etc. These diseases result in slow memory loss. Many diseases can cause transient memory loss these are meningitis, stroke due to hypertension, drug abuse, viral infection mostly West Nile virus, malnutrition, certain medicines, disorders or due to depression.
Symptoms may vary from mild to severe loss. A person forgets his colleagues’ names, names of his family members, important dates, normal activities which he used to do like driving, office works or cooking etc. In severe form, a person forgets his own name, address or family members. There is the loss of skill memory as well as declarative memory too. Such persons are mostly shown less alertness and poor response in many activities. Sometimes a person finds difficult to speak and he mixes up the words and finds it difficult to make the simplest decision.
It has seen that when damages occur to specific areas of brains where memory is being processed like the hippocampus, frontal lobes, temporal lobe and cerebral cortex, memory loss results. These areas store old and new memories.
Treatment entirely depends on the condition and severity of the memory loss. If memory loss is due to some acute diseases, they should be treated first. If it occurs due to some slow and progressive disease, these diseases should be treated to make them further slow so that a person can do his routine work normally. A person should be given multivitamins and natural herbs to sharpen his mind. There is no particular treatment for memory loss. Family support along with complete mental ease can be helpful to the person. He should be allowed to do less mental work, allow him to take proper sleep and full moral support.
Improve Your Memory:
You can sharpen your memory by simply doing this activity. At night when you go to bed, on lying down try to remember the things and activities you have done throughout a day. In the start, you will find difficult to remember all but do it regularly at night before going to sleep. In this way, you will start remembering things and this will improve your memory a lot.
Amna Sheikh is a medical doctor with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelors in Economics and Statistics. She is also a medical writer working as a freelancer for 10+ years and she is specialized in medical, health, and pharmaceutical writing, regulatory writing & clinical research. All her work is supported by a strong academic and professional experience.