Memory Issues

image_memoryMemory loss (amnesia) is unusual forgetfulness that can be caused by brain damage due to disease or injury, or it can be caused by severe emotional trauma.

Considerations

The cause determines whether amnesia comes on slowly or suddenly, and whether it is temporary or permanent.

Normal aging may result in trouble learning new material or requiring longer time to recall learned material. However, it does not lead to dramatic memory loss unless diseases are involved.

Common Causes

Aging
Alzheimer's disease
Neurodegenerative illness
Head trauma or injury
Hysteria often accompanied by confusion
Seizures
General anesthetics such as halothane, isoflurane, and fentanyl
Alcoholism
Stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)
Transient global amnesia
Drugs such as barbiturates or benzodiazepines
Electroconvulsive therapy (especially if prolonged)
Temporal lobe brain surgery
Brain masses (caused by tumors or infection)
Herpes encephalitis
Other brain infections
Depression

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