In film and television memory loss is a common plot twist. After sudden physical or emotional trauma, characters will forget nearly everything about the past, including friends, family and even their own name or personality.

When it comes to real life memory loss typically isn’t that dramatic, but it does affect almost everyone to a degree. It can take many forms, some of them more disruptive than others.

Memory Loss Symptoms

While memory loss itself can be an early sign or a larger underlying problem like Alzheimer’s, it isn’t always connected to another disease. Symptoms often develop and/or increase with age. An affected individual might:

  • Repeat the same question
  • Misplace items
  • Forget about tasks and responsibilities
  • Have difficulty recalling information
  • Get lost in a familiar area
  • Misuse common words
  • Confuse people or places

If symptoms are mild, those suffering form memory loss can lead full, independent lives, especially with treatment. When the cause of memory loss is a more serious condition, symptoms generally worsen with age, and often advanced care and aid are needed.

Memory Loss Causes

Advancing age plays a major part in memory loss, but other factors can increase risk and progress symptoms prematurely.

Substance Abuse

Frequent alcohol and drug use takes a hefty toll on cognitive abilities. Even past abuse can worsen the affects of memory loss later in life.

Head Injury

Concussions and other head injuries can have long term consequences. If an injury occurs, memory loss symptoms may follow.

Brain Disease/Disorders

Tumors and infections in the brain may negatively impact memory, as do emotional disorders like severe anxiety, stress and depression.


Some medications can cause or amplify the symptoms of memory loss, either on their on or when taken together with other medications.

Thyroid Problems

Symptoms of hypothyroidism, a disorder characterized by an under-performing thyroid gland, include forgetfulness and memory loss.

Vitamin Deficiency

A lack of certain vitamins, such as B-12, will impair ability to remember. Over time the effects will worsen if the deficiency isn’t addressed.

Memory Loss Treatment

If you or a loved one is experiencing memory loss, even minor symptoms, it is important to see a doctor to rule out Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other serious disorders and diseases. A healthcare professional will also be able to recommend an appropriate course of treatment to lessen your symptoms and help prevent them from progressing as you age.

Treatments include medication, lifestyle changes, nutritional and dietary changes and therapy.

You Can Help

If you struggle with memory loss, consider applying for one of our clinical trials. We conduct these studies to evaluate and improve treatments for a variety of disorders. Your participation could make a huge difference both in your life and the lives of others.