What is memory loss?

While it is not unusual for most people to misplace something or forget the name of a person you’ve just met from time to time, it is important to be aware of the difference between a normal lapse in memory or the modest decline in cognitive skills that may occur during the aging process, and more serious forms of memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.

The type of memory loss that comes with ageing will not prevent you from living a rich and productive life.  As we age, and our lives become busier we all have moments where we momentarily forget things or misplace items.  Changes in your memories such as these, are very easy to manage while still allowing you to live an independent and social life.

Dementia is the word used to describe a full spectrum of symptoms. These include impairment in reasoning, judgment, language, memory and other cognitive skills. Dementia generally starts slowly and gradually gets worse over time. It impairs a person’s abilities in every area of their lives – relationships, social interactions and work.

If you’re having memory problems, get help sooner rather than later.

What are the signs and symptoms of memory loss?

Most older people with memory loss do not have dementia. Those adults with mild cognitive impairment are at an increased risk of progressing to dementia but to date, there are no tests been shown to enhance the accuracy of assessing an individual’s risk factors.

Mild cognitive impairment is the notable decline one area of cognitive skills (usually memory), that is more significant than the average signs of aging and less than a dementia diagnosis.  Having mild cognitive impairment doesn’t prevent you from performing everyday tasks and being socially engaged.

Generally, experiencing significant memory loss that starts to interfere with your daily life, is the first ‘red flag’ that something more than a normal lapse in memory is occurring.

Other early signs to be aware of include:

  • Forgetting common words during conversations
  • Repeating or asking the same questions
  • Getting words mixed up
  • Taking longer to complete everyday tasks
  • Experiencing random mood swings or bouts of anger
  • Misplacing items in inappropriate places, such as putting car keys in the refrigerator
  • Finding yourself lost in familiar areas

There are some diseases which cause continuing damage to the brain and as a result cause dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, Frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia and Vascular dementia.  These diseases manifest in varying ways and do not always present as memory loss as their first symptom.

How common is memory loss?

Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia, contributing to approximately five per cent of deaths in men and around 10 per cent of all deaths in females every year.

What are the causes of memory loss?

There are various medical conditions which can cause memory loss or other dementia-like symptoms. A great deal of these conditions can be treated successfully by a professional.

Possible causes of treatable memory loss include the use of certain medications or a combination of medications that have the side effect of causing confusion and forgetfulness.

Other types of reversible memory loss include:

  • Emotional disorders:  Anxiety, stress or depression can cause lack of focus, and difficulty concentrating that interfere with daily life
  • Alcoholism:  Long term use of alcohol abuse can cause serious mental impairment
  • Minor head trauma or injury:  A head injury from a fall or accident can cause issues with your memory
  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency:  This is common is older adults and can cause memory loss and depression. Vitamin B-12 helps to maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells.
  • Hypothyroidism:  Having an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) can result in forgetfulness and other thinking problems.
  • Brain disease:   A tumour or infection in the brain can cause memory problems or other dementia-like symptoms.

It can be very difficult to accept any loss in memory or cognitive function but the worst thing to do is try and hide difficulties from loved ones.  Getting a prompt diagnosis is important, even if it’s challenging. Identifying a reversible cause of memory impairment enables you to get appropriate treatment.  Likewise, receiving an early diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder is beneficial because you can become proactive in managing symptoms and educating the key people in your life.

Help for memory loss

At Brain Training Australia™ we off Neurofeedback Brain Training for clients opting for a safe, natural and drug-free approach for clients suffering with memory issues to retrain brain activity and to optimise brain functionality.

Let us help you. Here is how to get started.

Your first step is to get in contact with us.

All new clients receive a free, complementary and no obligation 15-minute phone consult with a dedicated member of our team. If you’re on the fence, wondering if Neurofeedback Brain Training is right for you, then this is a really good place to start.

If you are ready to get started then you can just book in your First Appointment and get started straight away.

The team at Brain Training Australia™ recognise the unique qualities of all our clients and will work closely with you to personalise your Brain Training Program so that you can achieve your goals of optimal mental processes.

We look forward to helping you live a much richer, happier and healthier life.