Simple forgetfulness might be common, but such acts scare many middle-aged or older persons since they bring up the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease. The National Institute on Aging notes that Alzheimer’s disease is not the only health issue that can cause forgetting. Memory lapses can start at any age and for a variety of reasons. Luckily, memory issues frequently get better when the underlying cause is treated. The following conditions may occasionally contribute to memory loss in some people.
According to studies, confusion and even dementia can result from insufficient B12, one of the B vitamins crucial for regular neuron function. The following are risk factors for acquiring a vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Being the age of 75
- Having digestive system problems
- Strictly adhering to a vegan or vegetarian diet
- Taking certain medications, such as metformin, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or H2 blockers (H2Blockers), and birth control pills, which both reduce stomach acid
- Sjögren’s syndrome.
- More alcohol intake.
Adults should get 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily from meals like dairy products, meat, and fish or foods fortified with the vitamin, including fortified cereals. You should talk with your doctor about any concerns regarding your brain health; they may recommend the best supplements for memory.
According to Harvard Medical School, memory loss and dementia are associated with sleep issues, such as insomnia, persistent difficulty getting or staying asleep, and sleep apnea. This condition causes breathing to stop periodically during the night. The study claims that lack of sleep results in weariness, which can induce memory loss and brain fog. According to another study in the Journal of Sleep Research in May 2022, those with sleep apnea and insomnia are less likely than those who don’t score well on tests meant to gauge memory.
Memory loss or forgetfulness may indicate that you need to change your prescription. The following medications may contribute to memory loss or frequent forgetfulness:
- Anti-epileptic drugs
- blood pressure drugs
- some analgesics
- Medication for lowering cholesterol
- Medication for diabetes
- Parkinson’s disease medicines
- Sleeping pills.
The American Food and Drug Administration also warns that statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) could increase the risk of reversible cognitive side effects such as disorientation and memory loss.
A silent stroke
According to studies, a stroke that restricts important blood veins feeding the brain can cause apparent alterations in how a person thinks and moves. “Silent strokes” that impact tiny blood arteries might gradually cause mild memory issues and other unnoticeable symptoms. Vascular cognitive impairment refers to these variations in brain activity, ranging from mild to severe.
Depression, anxiety, and stress
Finally, significant stress or anxiety can cause issues with attention and memory. People who may be balancing work and family duties and have trouble sleeping tend to experience this more frequently. Usually, reducing stress might result in better memory.
According to research published in May 2022 in Frontiers in Psychiatry, untreated chronic stress can cause depression, impacting brain function, including some memory measures. However, according to the National Institute on Aging, a mood condition like depression may improve with treatment and therapy.