Memory loss is usually associated with aging, when forgetfulness may be a sign of normal aging or the start of progressive dementia. However, there are many possible causes of memory loss, and some are treatable. Amor Mehta, MD, at Neurology Center for Epilepsy and Seizures in Marlboro Township, New Jersey, offers compassionate and comprehensive care for all types of memory loss. If you’re concerned about early signs of memory problems, difficulty finding the right words, or confusion, call the office or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.
Memory Loss Q&A
Forming memories is a complex process that requires the coordination of different parts of your brain. Memory loss occurs when structures in the brain are damaged. The area of the brain affected determines if you have a hard time creating new memories or you can’t remember short- or long-term memories.
Problems that can lead to memory loss include:
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Traumatic brain injury
- Brain infections or tumors
- Lack of oxygen
- Cancer treatment
- Thyroid disorders
- Certain medications
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder and depression may also cause memory loss.
Dementia refers to several conditions characterized by memory loss and a decline in problem-solving, language, and other thinking skills. Medical conditions such as a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause dementia that’s often reversible when the underlying problem is treated.
There are four types of progressive dementia that aren’t curable:
Lewy body dementia
Progressive dementia gets worse over time and causes symptoms such as:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty communicating
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty with problem-solving
- Changes in personality and behavior
Memory loss is usually the earliest symptom of dementia, but frontotemporal dementia is an exception. Frontotemporal dementia causes changes in personality, behavior, and language before affecting your memory.
After a thorough medical exam, including a neurological assessment, mental status exam, and diagnostic tests as needed, your provider develops the best treatment for your type of memory loss. Treatment for traumatic brain injury, for example, ranges from rest for a concussion to medications and surgery for a severe brain injury.
Memory loss that’s caused by a curable medical condition usually improves when the problem is treated. You may need supplements to treat a vitamin deficiency or medication and therapy for a mental health disorder.
Treatment for dementia focuses on preserving mental function as long as possible and managing behavioral and emotional problems. Your provider at the Neurology Center for Epilepsy and Seizures may prescribe medications that improve symptoms or slow down the progression of moderate-to-severe dementia.