Why Do People Have Short-Term Memory Loss?


Quick Answer

Short-term, or transient, memory loss is caused by head injuries, depression, sleep deprivation, medication and stroke, according to WebMD. Additional causes of short-term memory loss include nutritional deficiency, specifically deficiencies in vitamins B-1 and B-12, as well as tobacco, drug and alcohol use.

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Why Do People Have Short-Term Memory Loss?
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Full Answer

Brain infections, including those caused by syphilis and Lyme disease, can result in short-term memory loss, advises MedlinePlus. Electroconvulsive therapy, mental health problems, poorly controlled epilepsy and illness resulting in the loss or damage to nerve cells or brain tissue may also result in short-term memory loss.

Individuals suffering from short-term memory loss can create chore lists to assist with daily activities, suggests Healthline. Additional steps to help combat short-term memory loss include maintaining a medication checklist, staying socially active and keeping an up-to-date calendar and address book.

People should seek medical help for short-term memory loss that interferes with daily activities, is accompanied by additional symptoms or threatens the individual's safety, indicates Healthline. The physical examination may include a neurologic exam, indicates WebMD. The exam may also include cognitive testing, image and blood tests, a lumbar puncture, an electroencephalogram, or a cerebral angiography, explains Healthline. When diagnosed early, many medical conditions that cause memory loss are successfully treated.

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