Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Friday, August 09, 2013 Diana, Community Member, asks

Q: what causes short term memory loss?

What kinds of things can cause short-term memory loss?

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Answers (3)
Christine Kennard, Health Pro
8/10/13 6:51am

Hi Diana


Before I answer the causes of short term memory loss can I just mention what it can be defined as. It is important because it does affect the way we then account for its apparent loss.

Short term memory loss is often though of as the brief period of time in which you can recall information that you have just been exposed to. However doctors and psychologists may define short term memory more in terms of hours or days. This obviously has implications about causation.


There are many different causes of short term memory loss, poor attention, stress, grief, depression are common psychological causes. There are also diseases that cause short term memory loss. These include mild cognitive impaiment, dementias such as Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, head injuries, brain tumors, vitamin deficiences,  environmental toxins, toxins such as alcohol, side effects to recreational and theraputic drugs, kidney disease, liver disease, and as a result of infection and delirium.


These are just some of the causes. If you are concerned about your own short term memory loss or that of a loved one or friend you/they need to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Many causes of short term memory loss are reversible.


I hope this information helps


Best wishes




Dorian Martin, Health Guide
8/30/13 5:21pm

Hi, Diana,


I'd second the previous answer. I just wanted to chime in that I have experienced short-term memory loss when I've been stressed or have become sleep-deprived. And my 88-year-old father has had short-term memory loss when he has taken some certain medications incorrectly. He also experienced this recently when he had some difficulty getting his blood oxygen level high enough. Once these situations were corrected, the short term memory came back.


However, I also saw short-term memory loss that was permanent with my mom, who had Alzheimer's and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


So if you're worried about your memory, please check with your doctor to determine what's behind it and what steps should be taken!


Take care and keep us posted!



Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
9/ 2/13 9:38am


Stress, lack of sleep, even nutritional deficiencies can cause short-term memory loss. You also should check into side effects from medications. Most of us get a little scared when we experience memory glitches, feeling sure we are on our way toward dementia. That is not true.


However, serious, sort-term memory loss is something that you need to take seriously and with the help of your doctor, get to the root cause. Many things are "fixable" as mentioned above. Acknowledge and learn to handle stress, get optimum sleep, eat well and exercise. However, memory loss due to dementia is not curable at this time. However, degenerative symptoms, may be slowed in some people with medication.


Seeing a trusted physician is the first step when difficulty arises.

Take care,


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By Diana, Community Member— Last Modified: 08/24/14, First Published: 08/09/13