Health & Medical Alzheimer's Disease

What Are the Causes of Temporary Memory Lapses?

    Brain Trauma

    • Any type of trauma to the brain can cause temporary memory lapses. This includes brain surgery, tumors on the brain, or an event when the brain is deprived of oxygen, such as your heart stopping, when you stop breathing, or complications during surgery with anesthesia. Certain types of diseases such as Lyme disease can cause brain infections that lead to memory losses.


    • Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease or multiple sclerosis damage nerve cells that affect memory. Mental illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia can cause memory loss either through non-treatment or over-medication. Cancer patients getting aggressive chemotherapy or radiation may experience short-term memory loss.


    • Normal aging can often lead to minimal events of memory loss. Senior citizens might temporarily forget the names of people, places or be unable to recall past events, which is relatively normal due to aging. Seniors who don't have a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, proper nutrition and sleep can also have memory problems due to poor cognitive health.


    • A study published in the March 2011 edition of the "Journal of General Internal Medicine" says that senior citizens who undergo hospitalization may suffer from short-term memory loss stemming from several different factors, including: disorientation from new and often chaotic hospital surroundings; the illness or condition being treated; and a lack of sleep and disruption of a routine because of the hospitalization. About 35 percent of the subjects in the study scored poorly in the categories of comprehension, recognition, repetition and naming when they were released from the hospital. Most of them reported significant memory improvement within a month of being back at home.

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