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Surprising Causes of Memory Problems…

February 25, 2011

When was the last time you had a brain fart? You know we all have them. Usually it is when we run into someone who we know but can’t remember their name, or you are at the grocery store and forget what you are there to buy…so you buy a bunch of stuff you don’t need. Everyone forgets things sometimes. Though many people believe that memory loss is an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease, more than 90% of those who complain about poor memory don’t have Alzheimer’s. If it’s not Alzheimer’s, what is it? Here are common causes of memory loss and treatments.

  • Depression. This is the leading cause of memory loss. Depressed people have low brain levels of serotonin and norepinephrine that normally activate the hippocampus (the memory part of the brain where info is stored and retrieved). What to do…antidpressants.
  • Stress. People who experience chronic stress due to job issues, family or money worries etc often experience memory problems. What to do…take stress seriously. Get regular exercise, practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or yoga.
  • Poor Sleep. Lack of sleep increases stress and anxiety, which raises cortisol levels. Cortisol can damage the hippocampus. What to do…see your doctor as you can have a variety of medical reasons why you’re not sleeping such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure etc.
  • Vitamin B-12 Deficiency. This accounts for approximately 10% of non-Alzheimer’s memory loss cases. The body uses vitamin B-12 to produce myelin, the sheathing on nerve cells. Low levels of this nutrient cause slow transmission of nerve signals.
  • Thyroid Disease. Too little or too much thyroid hormone can cause mental slowing, decline in vision and hearing and persistent memory problems. What to do…talk to your doctor as this is easy to treat with medication or surgery.
  • Mini-Strokes. These strokes are caused by a blockage of blood vessels in the brain. Most affect tiny, rice-sized areas of the brain and can cause minor (and sometimes transitory) memory loss. What to do…your doctor will recommend a brain CT scan if he/she suspects that you have had a mini-stroke. Maintaining healthy blood pressure, stop smoking and weight loss can help with this as well.

And I thought memory loss was all about age. Luckily the more we know the better we do. At GAI (www.gunwel.com) we are here to help you with all of your financial needs. Luckily we are great at remembering names, faces and numbers, and are looking forward to working with you. Call us at 212-979-6830 or stop by for a visit. We are open Monday-Friday from 8am-8pm and Saturday from 8am-5pm. See you soon!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 24, 2013 8:23 am

    Very interesting! Keep writing your articles.

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