‘Use it or lose it’ is the philosophy which perfectly applies to our memory. Short term or long term memory loss symptoms indicate disorder of the brain or spinal cord. Early detection of the problem helps repair the damaged part of the brain or spinal cord, with the help of medications and other treatment options. Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, depression, brain or spinal cord injury, mental trauma, alcohol abuse, drug addiction and excessive use of certain medications are some of the main causes of memory loss. Mental confusion and incoherent thoughts leading to dementia, diminishing cognitive ability, impaired muscular coordination are some of the noticeable symptoms of memory loss. The symptoms may vary from person to person and may give rise to serious medical conditions.
Memory Loss Treatment
The extent of memory loss can be different in different people. In some cases, it may remain constant and in some, it may worsen over time. Prompt memory loss medication helps improve the memory, in either of the cases.
Drugs: Some examples of medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease are galantamine, tacrine, donepezil, memantine and rivastigmine, for which the brand names are Razadyne, Cognex, Aricept, Akatinol and Exelon respectively. They help increase levels of the neurotransmitter ‘acetylcholine’ in the brain; which halts progression of Alzheimer’s disease. These drugs come with side effects like gastrointestinal discomfort and affected liver function. So, it is necessary to consult a physician for the correct dosage and duration of memory loss medication. Selegeline, or Eldepryl is used to treat Parkinson’s as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg) which is used to treat autoimmune conditions is said to be quite effective for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Calcium channel blockers which are used to treat hypertension and migraine, and statins that are used to lower cholesterol levels may help cure certain types of short-term memory loss.
Memory Supplements: The memory supplements available in the market help improve your memory; but they should be taken strictly under the guidance of your physician. Here is a list of supplements which can help improve short-term memory loss.
- Vitamin capsules containing vitamins A, B complex, C and E, mineral capsules containing magnesium, zinc, selenium and calcium.
- Cyntol to restore cognitive functioning of the brain.
- Green tea, Gingko biloba and ginseng as energy and memory boosters. They activate the brain.
- 1-2 capsules or 1-3 tablespoons of omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oil.
- L-glutamine 500-1000 mg thrice daily
- L-theanine 200 mg 1-3 times daily for nervous system and brain support.
- SAMe(s-adenosyl-L-methionine) daily before breakfast (100-200 mg) for mood improvement.
- Vitamin C as an antioxidant, 500-1000 mg 1-3 times daily.
- Vinpocetine for increased blood flow to the brain.
- Gotu Kola to reduce stress and improve concentration.
- Huperzia Serrata to prevent breakdown of vital neuro transmitters.
- Estrogen supplements have helped improve the memory of some menopausal women, but certain studies show that estrogen may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in women. More studies are needed to know the facts.
Home Remedies: Not only prescribed medications but psychological exercises also help treat loss of memory.
- Mental Stress Management Exercises: Stress is an unavoidable factor of modern lifestyle. Relaxation and rest help relieve stress. One should learn the techniques of yoga and meditation as they help manage stress. Various stress relievers (medications) are available in the market; but regular exercise (helps maintain hormonal balance), indulging in laughter and various playful activities are better options if you want to enjoy efficient functioning of your brain.
- Mind Games: Brain exercises which help sharpen your memory, should be played as many times as possible. Various types of puzzles should be solved. The process of aging usually causes short-term memory loss which can be avoided by keeping the brain as active as possible.
- Nutrition: A balanced and healthy diet is necessary for healthy body and healthy mind. Vitamin deficiency, severe dehydration, deficiency of any of the essential nutrients, formation of plaque due to excess cholesterol, etc. can affect the function of the brain and can cause memory loss. Vitamin B, C, E and A facilitate smooth functioning of the brain.
- Herbal Treatment: According to the Ayurveda, herbs like brahmi, vacha, amalki, and cow milk, almonds, walnuts, etc. help strengthen our memory and prevent memory loss. Regular intake of antioxidants (lots of fruits and vegetables) and herbs like ginkgo biloba, following a high fiber diet (low cholesterol diet) helps prevent loss of memory. Avoiding smoking and limiting the consumption of alcohol can help prevent the aggravation of the symptoms of brain/spinal cord disorder.
At the first stage, there is only forgetfulness. Gradually, the signs and symptoms of severe memory loss are noticed. No one should lose hope because it is possible to cure short-term memory loss. The treatment depends upon the causes and severity of the symptoms. Memory loss medication often involves lifestyle changes. Family support is the key of memory loss treatment. Familiar music, photos or other objects can help the person to stay oriented and maintain a sharp and focused retention power.
This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject. You should consult your physician for memory problems. You should describe the symptoms, discuss your routine medication and health problems with your physician. You may have to undergo certain tests. Physical examination and test reports help determine the treatment.