Memory loss is considered a symptom of an underlying disease.
AlzheimerÕs disease, Amnesia, Dementia, Depression, Dissociative disorders, Epilepsy, HuntingtonÕs chorea, Hypertriglyceridemia, Hypothyroidism, Multiple sclerosis, Multiple chemical sensitivity, PickÕs disease, Schizophrenia, Sleep apnea, Brain injury (head trauma, concussion, stroke, electric shock), Brain anoxia (oxygen deprivation), Infections (Limbic encephalitis, HIV, Syphilis, Lyme disease, Chronic meningitis, WhippleÕs disease), Toxic exposure (Carbon monoxide), Drug intoxication (Amphetamine, Triazolam). Alcohol causes a mild impairment of recent memory.
Early thiamin (vitamin B1) deficiency causes fatigue, irritation, poor memory, sleep disturbances, precordial pain, anorexia, abdominal discomfort, and constipation. Continued carbohydrate ingestion gradually exhausts thiamine stores in critical areas of the thalamus and brainstem reticular formation.
Pellagra (niacin, vitamin B3 deficiency) is typically associated with dermatitis, dementia, and diarrhea. Fatigue, insomnia, and apathy may precede the development of an encephalopathy characterized by confusion, disorientation, hallucination, loss of memory, and eventually, organic psychosis.
Cobalamin (vitamin B12) deficiency without hematologic abnormalities is surprisingly common, especially in the elderly. These patients may present with neuropsychiatric abnormalities, including peripheral neuropathies, gait disturbance, memory loss, and psychiatric symptoms.
Aluminum is readily absorbed into blood and accumulates in brain, bone, and erythroid tissues and can cause disabling neurologic, skeletal, and hematologic manifestations including malaise, memory loss, asterixis (involuntary jerking), dementia, twitches, and other manifestations of metabolic encephalopathy, including seizures and death.
Chronic exposure to metallic mercury produces a characteristic intention tremor and mercurial erethism, a constellation of findings including excitability, memory loss, insomnia, timidity, and sometimes delirium.
Cognitive function can be impacted in several ways, including: The damaging effects of years of free radical exposure (oxidative stress); Hormonal imbalances and decreased levels of key hormones, especially pregnenolone, DHEA and melatonin; Declining energy output of brain cells (mitochondrial stress); Essential fatty acid deficiencies (the brain is composed almost entirely of fatty acids).
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