According to recent research, temporary memory lapses could be caused by particularly stressful situations. Therefore it is not always a symptom of Alzheimer's.
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Do you happen to have memory gaps? If they are momentary and non-recurring, it could be simple stress. Here's what to watch out for.
Researchers at the Louis-H Center for Studies on Human Stress. Lafontaine Hospital, conducted a study in collaboration with the University of Montreal that highlighted how, during stressful events, memory may be temporarily affected. This is especially true for the elderly. The explanation is related to the production of cortisol, which occurs when one is stressed, which would be able to alter the mnemonic abilities.
However, memory lapses can also be caused by the consumption of alcohol or drugs, great tiredness, low pressure, depression, pathological malfunction of the thyroid, some drugs or head injuries.
About temporary amnesia due to excessive alcohol intake, it is good to know that the latter can have lasting effects on the brain, to the point of causing permanent deterioration. This is because alcohol damages the frontal lobe, an area of the brain where cognitive functions related to short and long term memory reside. The risk of amnesia then increases if in addition to consuming alcohol sedative drugs are taken in the same time frame.
The subjects most at risk are middle-aged men and women and the probability increases in those who consume alcohol or when they are subjected to stressful situations. Fortunately something can be done to keep the memory efficient, in addition to the trivial suggestion to stay away from alcohol, drugs, stress, it is recommended to stay physically and mentally active, doing sports, crosswords, traveling and reading for example, in addition to having a healthy and balanced nutrition.
If memory lapses become frequent, contact your doctor to investigate the origin.