Health & Medical Alzheimer's Disease

Signs & Symptoms of Short Term Memory Loss

    Trauma, Disease or Disorder

    • Mental trauma, brain disease, Alzheimer's, substance abuse, anxiety and depression are all causes of short term memory loss. A sudden deterioration in short term memory loss usually indicates that a person has developed a disease. For example, those who all of a sudden need to ask the same question multiple times in one conversation may be suffering from Alzheimer's, as short term memory loss is one of its prime symptoms. Many times, a trauma, disease or disorder is accompanied by a sudden emotional change as well.

    Trouble Learning New Material

    • The most prominent feature of short term memory loss is the inability to learn new material. Because the brain stores new information either in the short term or long term memory, information stored in the short term memory is impaired with short term memory loss. As a result, a person can have short term memory loss as a long term problem or as a short term problem. Short term memory loss is a sudden and dramatic loss of ability. For example, a person may suddenly forget how he got to the location that he currently finds himself in.

    The Types of Loss

    • Diagnosing short term memory loss involves differentiating between the three types of memory loss: short term recollection loss, long term (recent) loss and long term (remote) loss. An example of short term recollection would be seeing a phone number and then dialing the number immediately after reading it. This involves a quick memorization for a few minutes. Long term (recent) memory encompasses things such as what you ate for breakfast or who you talked to on the phone yesterday. Long term (remote) refers to the distance past, such as who you married, where you lived or what jobs you formerly had. Short term memory loss includes both long term (recent) loss and short term recollection loss. Long term (remote) loss is symptomatic of long term memory loss.

    Other Signs

    • Other signs of short term memory loss include these: repeating the same stories in the same conversation, forgetting how to do things that you've done numerous times before, trouble making choices and problems handling money. These are symptoms that are not a normal component of the aging process and represent a deterioration of the short term memory brain function. A doctor's visit can provide more information and screenings to determine if the physical parts of the brain are indeed undergoing rapid short term memory loss.

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