The Victoria Memory Clinic

Types of Memory Loss

What is Memory Loss?
Information on Memory Loss
Memory loss may result from several different medical and/or psychological conditions, such as stress, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, medication, brain trauma, stroke, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer Disease, multiple sclerosis, and exposure to neurotoxins.
The Victoria Memory Clinic, Victoria, BC, Canada

Healthy, Age-Related Memory Loss

You frequently forget where you put your keys or glasses. You find you have trouble remembering the names of people you just met. Sometimes, you cannot recall the name of an acquaintance. You fail to remember what you had for dinner yesterday. Are these types of memory failures normal or are they the beginnings of a disease process, such as Alzheimer Disease?

Some aspects of memory do show age-related loss. Specifically, the ability to immediately retrieve information is most negatively affected by the aging process. Although healthy individuals may have difficulty recalling information spontaneously, the information commonly 'pops' into mind when given cues. As well, healthy older adults report a greater number of 'tip-of-the-tongue' experiences, i.e., the individual knows exactly what they want to say but has difficulty finding the right word or name at that particular time. It is important to note that individuals who exhibit healthy, age-related memory loss do not have difficulty learning new information and are able to recall information when given reminders or cues.

Mild changes in memory are a common part of healthy aging and do not necessarily progress to Alzheimer Disease or other dementia. If you are concerned that your memory is not what it used to be and that your forgetfulness is beyond what should be expected in healthy aging, then your concerns should be discussed with a health care professional or you may contact us at your convenience. Treatments do exist for mild memory impairment.

 

Secondary Memory Loss

Memory loss may result from several different medical and/or psychological conditions, such as stress, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, medication, brain trauma, stroke, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer Disease, multiple sclerosis, and exposure to neurotoxins.

When memory loss interferes with daily living, it is essential to determine the cause of loss so that appropriate treatment may be implemented. For some conditions, appropriate treatment may restore memory functioning. For other conditions, it may be necessary to learn adaptive techniques that may lessen negative impact of memory impairment.

To alleviate anxiety concerning the possibility of personal memory loss, and to make plans for the future, it is vital to distinguish between memory changes that commonly occur in healthy aging and memory changes caused by a medical and/or psychological condition, such as dementia.

 

Reversible Memory Loss

When we speak of reversible memory loss, we are really saying that the underlying 'cause' of the memory loss may be reversed. Memory loss may be a secondary effect of certain conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress, malnutrition, and alcohol abuse. Once the condition is diagnosed and properly treated, it is possible that memory functioning will be partially or completely restored.

 

Irreversible Memory Loss

Unfortunately, certain causes of memory loss, such as Alzheimer Disease, may not be reversed. Though some causes are irreversible, there are medications available that temporarily halt progression of memory impairment.

 

Preventing Memory Loss

New and exciting research is providing insights regarding ways to optimize memory and thinking abilities. At present, however, there are no cures of Alzheimer disease or other dementias. All individuals, however, benefit from:

  • Remaining mentally active;
  • Engaging in regular physical activity; and
  • Being socially active.

The Victoria Memory Clinic
250 - 4392 West Saanich Road, Victoria, BC, V8Z 3E9
Telephone: 250.881.1145 | Fax: 250-590-6673
Email: info@memoryclinic.ca | Website: www.memoryclinic.ca


© Copyright 2004-2014 - The Victoria Memory Clinic - All Rights Reserved

Visual Illusion Web Design