July 20th, 2024

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Forgetfulness can be precipitated by:


Addiction Alcohol Anxiety Depression Grief Heart Disease Loneliness Medications Nutrition Stroke

Causes of Memory Loss


Forgot To Water Plant

Many Causes Of Memory Loss

By | 6.6.2014


We Joke About Forgetfulness

Older people worry about memory loss. There are plenty of jokes about older people forgetting things. Actually, we do forget things but there are lots of reasons. Researchers have discovered much more since I first wrote about memory loss in 2010.


Oddly enough, the most common reason for forgetfulness is thinking about too many things. Once upon a time, our lives were simple. We worried about our spouse, our children, our grandparents (sometimes) and our jobs. Now we worry about our children, their children, and their jobs. Many of us still worry about our own jobs into our seventies and eighties. We worry about our parents and our grandparents. More households, more people, more problems. Of course there are more joys too, but it's no wonder we forgot what we went to fetch from the next room.


"Dementia" is a term we use for chronic forgetfulness. Here is the definition:


Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment and behavior.


The thing is, some diseases that can cause dementia can be treated. That means we could get better, or even get over the illness.


Alzheimer's Disease is probably the most feared form of Dementia. A tremendous amount of research is going on to study this terrible disease and there is much more to do. Different groups of researchers are looking at possible causes, methods for diagnosis, relief for symptoms, and recovery. There is a constant call for volunteers to help with research studies.


We've also learned new ways to care for people with Dementia. These methods can really help with quality of life for both caregivers and the person suffering from the disease.


We must keep in mind that forgetfulness can have other causes that could be remedied.


Causes of Forgetfulness

Memory Loss can be caused by several different things. Many causes of forgetfulness can be treated. Causes can include:


Memory Tests

There is a new test for Dementia available that you can take at home. Researchers at Ohio State University developed the test. Called SAGE (Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination) the test is designed to be taken at home and then shared with your doctor.


There are other tests for memory too. Some of these tests have been taken by thousands of people so your scores can be measured against the scores of others with various memory capabilities. Some tests can be taken on line by anyone.


Improving Memory

Researchers have learned that memory can be improved. There are some interesting exercises and life-style changes that can have a significant improvement on memory. We have an in-depth explanation of how these memory improvement activies really effect the brain. We tell this story in plain language, translating scientific results into everyday terms.


One simple way to improve memory is with games and puzzles. There are games and puzzles that can be played online or downloaded to your computer and there are puzzle books and periodicals. Don't forget the puzzles in the daily newspaper!


Man With Puzzle

Gretchen Heuring

Concentration and Memory




Think about "concentration" and "memory" as two different things like your back and your legs. You need both your back and your legs to be strong so they can work together to lift heavy things. Exercises you would choose for strengthening your back are quite different from those you would choose to develop strong legs.


Concentration means you are focusing on a particular activity or problem. Memory is the ability to remember experiences, information or people. Good concentration really helps memory so improving both is equally important. Learn more about ways to improve both:



prescription drug abuse report cover

Prescription Medication Misuse and Abuse Among Older Adults

A Report Published By The Administration on Aging SAMHSA




woman taking test

A New Test For Alzheimer's You Can Take At Home


Yes, the rumors are true. There is a new test for Alzheimer's Disease that you can get online and take at home. Researchers at Ohio State University have developed the test. It's called SAGE (Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination).


As with all new things, there is a caution to consider. If the test results suggest cognitive impairment, it might not mean you have Alzheimer's. There could be another cause such as depression or hidden heart disease. So if, when you take the test, indications are revealed, for goodness sake head for you doctor!


forgetful woman


Is It Really Memory Loss?

By | 01.25.10

Do you have walk into another room and forget while you are there? Or open a cupboard and then just plain forget why you did that? Well stop worrying right now. It's most likely the worry that is causing your problem. Here's why.


Learning so that we remember happens in three stages. The first is called "encoding" and that's when our brain takes in information. It can be the way we organize things on a shelf, someone's name, or the rules of a game.


If we are extra busy or stressed, the second stage may be inhibited by our worries. This stage is called "consolidation" and our brain is processing and storing information in various places. If we are thinking about other things, consolidation gets interrupted so we just can't remember.


The process of remembering involves retrieving the information from the places where the brain has stored it. If it never got stored in the first place, there's nothing to retrieve.


Some drugs or too much alcohol can also interrupt the consolidation process in our brains. That's why sometimes "the morning after" we don't remember events. It truly is like that event never happened. The brain just didn't store it.


If you really do think your lapses might not be right, see your doctor. There are possible physical causes that could be fixed.



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Two people drinking wine

Alcohol and Memory Loss

According to researchers, regular alcohol consumption by older people can cause reduced mental capacity, including memory loss. Physicians once believed that faulty memory and inability to think clearly just went along with old age. Now there is evidence that this behavior is not because people are old, but is more likely caused by steady daily (or nightly) drinking. There is actually a new term called "Late-Onset Alcohol Misuse."


Scientists have tracked the alcohol use of thousands of older people. The results are disturbing.