Memory Loss Treatments - Conventional & Alternative

In a fast-paced world, being able to remember things is crucial, and memory loss can be a disheartening and frustrating condition.

There are two types of memory: short term and long term. Short-term memory, as the name suggests, is held for a short period of time, usually a maximum of twenty seconds. It is then either discarded or stored in long-term memory for retrieval at a later time. Often, when people first recognize memory loss, it is their short-term memory that has begun to decline.

Memory Loss

Memory loss can result from a variety of conditions. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are among the most common when the patient is a senior citizen, but there are other causes as well.

Both Depression and anxiety can cause a kind of “brain fog” that makes it difficult to concentrate and pay attention to things. As a result, it is harder for depressed or anxious people to store information in short term memory.

Low blood sugar levels can also cause short-term memory loss. Blood sugar can become too low as a result of not eating or by medical problems like diabetes. Hormonal imbalances, particularly estrogen swings during menopause, are associated with memory problems as well. Head trauma, brain injury and brain tumors are other causes of memory loss.

Alcohol and drug abuse can also damage or destroy brain cells, affecting a person’s ability to remember things.

Memory Loss Treatments

Memory loss treatments include both prescription medications and nutritional supplements.

A considerable list of prescription medications are approved as memory loss treatments, some with more significant and consistent results than others.

The cholinesterase inhibitors Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl, and a similar drug called Ebixa are used to treat Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by slowing the progression of symptoms. They work by preventing the breakdown of chemicals used by the nervous system in the memory process.

Hormone replacement therapy can treat memory loss associated with menopause, and antidepressants or anti-anxiety agents can alleviate memory loss and difficulty concentrating when they are symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Further, since high cholesterol levels are associated with the development of dementia, statin drugs used to reduce elevated cholesterol levels may serve as protection against the development of memory loss associated with that condition. Statin drugs are becoming more and more controversial with their side effects shown as more severe than people thought.

In addition to prescription medications, the herb ginko biloba and antioxidant vitamins can be used as memory loss treatments. Herbalists have used ginko biloba for centuries to support memory function and concentration, while antioxidants are thought to protect brain cells from damage or destruction caused by free radicals.

The bottom line in determining which treatments will be most effective is that there are many causes of memory loss. If the specific cause can be determined, the symptom can often be treated.

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