There are several causes of serious memory loss. They include:
Certain medical conditions can cause serious memory problems. These problems should go away once you get treatment. Here’s a list of things that cause memory problems:
- Bad reaction to certain medicines
- Not having enough fluids in your body, also called dehydration
- Not eating enough healthy foods, or too few vitamins and minerals in your body
- Minor head injuries
- Thyroid problems
These medical conditions are serious and should be treated by a doctor.
Some emotional problems in older people can cause serious memory problems. Feeling sad, lonely, worried, or bored can cause you to be confused and forgetful. Being active, spending more time with family and friends, and learning new skills can help. You may need to see a doctor or counselor for treatment. Once you get help, your memory problems should get better.
Alzheimer’s disease also causes serious memory problems. The signs of Alzheimer’s disease begin slowly and get worse over time. This is because nerve cell changes in the brain cause large numbers of brain cells to die. It may look like simple forgetfulness at first, but over time, people with Alzheimer’s disease have trouble thinking clearly. They find it hard to do everyday things like shopping, driving, cooking, and having a conversation. As the illness gets worse, people with Alzheimer’s disease may need someone to take care of all their needs (feeding, bathing, etc.) at home or in a nursing home.
Many people have never heard of multi-infarct dementia. Like Alzheimer’s disease, it is a medical condition that causes serious memory problems. Unlike Alzheimer’s disease, signs of multi-infarct dementia may appear suddenly. This is because the memory loss and confusion are caused by small strokes or changes in the blood supply to the brain. If the strokes stop, you can get better or stay the same for a long time. If you have more strokes, you can get worse. Taking care of your high blood pressure can lower your chances of getting this illness.