As the largest resource of information specific to women's brain health, we are sure you will find what you are looking for, and promise that you will discover new information.
Published on: August 30, 2014
by Cheri Cheng for Counsel & Heal:
Everyone experiences lapses in memory. Even though a lot of people attribute memory problems to aging, getting older is not always the cause. Here are nine factors that can impair memory.
1. A Dysfunctional Thyroid
Often times memory problems indicate an underlying health condition. One of these conditions could be a dysfunctional thyroid, which can cause people’s memory to lag behind. Studies have found that people who had either too high to too low thyroid levels experienced memory and concentration complications. A dysfunctional thyroid can be diagnosed and treated.
2. Hot Flashes
Women, who are going through menopause, which occurs when the body stops menstruating, tend to suffer from hot flashes. Each time women experience a hot flash, their brains might feel foggy due to the intensity of the heat. Even though hot flashes do not hurt brain health, it can affect people’s ability to remember certain things. Once the hot flashes diminish, women might start to feel as if their memory is returning back to normal.
3. Sleep Deprivation
Getting a good night’s rest can make a huge difference the morning after. Many studies have found that sleep deprivation leads to fatigue and cognitive problems. One of the problems involves memory. In order to avoid these complications, people should strive to sleep the recommended eight hours per night.
4. Anxiety and Depression
Mental health disorders can greatly affect memory as well. For people with anxiety, constant worrying can negatively affect brain processes that are tied to developing and retrieving memories. When people’s moods improve, memory problems often diminish.
“We don’t understand the exact link, but strong evidence indicates depression, anxiety, and bipolar disease disrupts the neural circuitry involved in developing and retrieving memories,” Allen Towfigh, MD, medical director of New York Neurology & Sleep Medicine, explained reported by TIME. “The severity of the memory loss often mirrors the severity of the mood disorder-severe depression brings about equally severe memory loss.”
5. Prescription Drugs
All drugs come with side effects that range from mild to severe. For some patients, these side effects include memory impairment. The drugs that typically affect memory are the same ones prescribed for people with mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Even though memory problems might be annoying, experts do not recommend people to stop taking their drugs. Patients should always discuss their symptoms with their doctors first.
Smoking, which is one of the leading causes of preventable death throughout the world, also negatively impacts people’s memories. Studies have found that people who are smokers are more likely to experience cognitive decline in comparison to non-smokers. Experts explained that smoking can hinder blood supply to the brain.
7. High-Fat Diet
A high-fat diet not only affects people’s physical health, it can also impact mental health. People who eat high fat foods constantly increase their risk of suffering from memory and learning problems. However, experts cautioned that more research should to be done to examine this link further.
When placed under a lot of stress, people can forget even the easiest details such as their phone number or home address. According to some studies, stress can lower the amount of receptors in the brain that are responsible for processing thoughts. One huge stress event will not affect memory in the long run. However, chronic stress can.
“Repeated or chronic stress can be harmful. Regular exposure to elevated glucocorticoids (a hormone released by the adrenal gland) also causes our brain cells to reduce receptors, making brain cells less capable of responding to neurochemical (brain chemicals) cues,” Dr. Towfigh stated.
Germs can impair memory as well. In a 2013 study, researchers concluded that getting infected with viruses such as herpes simplex type 1, which is the cold sore virus, can impact people’s memory.
People suffering from memory problems can benefit from frequent exercise, a good diet and plenty of sleep.
It is a devastating omission that may have undercut years of work by brilliant researchers from around the world. Millions of dollars and countless hours have been spent investigating dementia. But in the view of...
A stroll through the Dutch community of De Hogeweyk is a journey to what could be the future of dementia care. Located within the small town of Weesp, just outside of Amsterdam, De Hogeweyk is...
Intimate-partner violence (IPV) is a pattern of physical and/or sexual violence inflicted by an intimate or ex-intimate partner. Global estimates published by the World Health Organization indicate that about 1 in 3 women have experienced...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.