Health Conditions that Mess with Memory
Medical research tells us that deficiencies of many sorts can have a negative impact on memory. For instance, 2014 research out of Harvard Medical School notes that lagging B12 vitamin levels can impede sense of taste and smell, as well as memory function.
Limited blood supply to the brain—due to chronic health conditions like a thyroid disorder, high cholesterol or blood pressure, liver or kidney malfunction, or diabetes—can also mess with memory.
Medications and Memory
It should be no surprise the numerous over-the-counter and prescription medications can negatively impact memory. Dr. Lauren Drag, a neuropsychologist and clinical instructor of neurological sciences at Stanford University lists antidepressants (i.e., Paxil), pain medications, drugs that treat muscle spasm (i.e., Flexiril), sedatives (i.e., Valium), gastroesophageal reflux meds (i.e., Zantac), and even antihistamines (i.e., Benadryl) can mess with a patient’s memory.
Dr. Drag explains that anticholinergic medications can impede acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the brain and result in forgetfulness. If you suspect a medication is causing memory loss, talk to your doctor about your medications before making any changes.
It’s no shocker that sleep and memory go hand in hand. So if you suffer from a sleep disorder (i.e., sleep apnea) your brain may suffer reduced blood supply, which over time can eat up decision-making abilities and memory.
Research out of Harvard Medical School identifies what researchers call the “four horsemen of forgetfulness”—depression, stress, anxiety, and sleep deprivation. However, researchers note that the “horseman” can be counteracted with some deep, quality shuteye. (For more information, check out this article on Reasons Why You Have No Energy).