There are two types of people with memory loss in this world, according to Dr. Saunders: the people who know and the people that don’t know. The people that don’t know are in a particularly concerning position because memory loss is an indicator that there’s something else wrong with the brain, whether it’s short-term or long-term.

While long-term memory loss is often associated with older people—the number of people in the world with age-related memory loss is expected to hit 84 million by 2040—it’s not just seniors who are losing valuable memories. Nearly 14% of men and women between the ages of 18 and 39 complain of poor memory, reported by in June of 2013.

Whether you’re young or old, memory loss should be taken seriously. In any event, it’s an indicator that something else is wrong, whether it’s a disease or the environment you’re living in.

short term memory lossCauses of Memory Loss

There are many potential causes of memory loss, whether it’s short-term—when you forget things like telephone numbers for a few seconds—or long-term—when you forget permanent memories. Here are the most common causes:

Short-Term Memory Loss:

Alcohol/tobacco:“Smoking harms memory by reducing the amount of oxygen that gets in the brain. Studies have shown that people who smoke find it more difficult to put faces with a name than non-smokers,” according to

Stress/Anxiety/Depression: These are some of the most common causes of short-term memory loss. In this case, the issue can be related to a lack of focus and disinterest, which causes you to miss the information in the first place.

Head injury: Whether you have a concussion or not, a head injury can cause short-term memory loss. This is often called dissociative disorder.

Stroke: When your body suffers a stroke, some of the blood supply to your brain is cut off. When this happens, some of the brain tissue dies and causes a short-term loss of memory.

Potential but uncommon reasons for memory loss include:

  • Underactive thyroid
  • Vitamin B1 deficiency
  • Brain tumor
  • Certain medications, like that for Parkinson’s Disease
  • Long-term alcohol abuse
  • Bleeding in the brain

Long-Term Memory Loss:

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Alzheimer’s/Huntington’s Disease/Multiple Sclerosis: These, as well as schizophrenia and Parkinson’s Disease, cause damage to brain cells which leads to memory loss.

For example, those with Alzheimer’s suffer memory loss because of uncontrolled inflammatory response when there’s too much amyloid deposition in the brain. This then leads to the death of brain cells. If you, or someone you love, have severe memory loss that slowly grows in severity this could be the root cause.

Keep Your Brain Healthy

Whether you’re experiencing memory loss now, or not, it’s important to keep your brain healthy so you can avoid it in the future. There are a number of ways you can keep memory loss at bay: cooking smart, getting enough sleep and playing brain games.

In the Kitchen: One way to keep your brain healthy is to eat the right food, vitamins, and spices. Dr. Saunders recommends Periwinkle extract, which improves circulation, Ginkgo biloba and turmeric, a spice that helps to bring down inflammation in the brain. In general, focus on eating whole foods that allow your body to get all the necessary vitamins and minerals.

In the Morning: Before you do anything at the office, play a brain game or two. Brain games are clinically proven to help you remember more, and in most cases both auditory and visual memory are improved. Try BrainHQ for a full program or try these short games at

At Night: Sleep is an integral factor in maintaining a sharp memory; especially if you’re brain is already suffering from too much stress, anxiety or depression. The recommended amount of sleep is 7-9 hours; aim to get that much as often as possible.

Memory loss is not exclusively a senior citizen’s problem; many young people suffer as well thanks to alcohol, tobacco, stress, anxiety and depression. If you begin experiencing memory loss, or someone you know is, consider what the more pressing brain issue is, and work to improve that. Still not sure how to deal with chronic memory loss?

Brain Health KitGet the Brain Health Kit from Barton Publishing or speak with your doctor.

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