Diseases Causing Memory Loss

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There are a few diseases that can cause memory loss, but there are also several minor causes of memory loss. With serious diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and dementia, other symptoms can happen alongside the memory loss. Tests can be done by a medical professional to ensure a correct diagnosis of the patient.

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease can manifest differently in different individuals. The disease usually begins with noticeable memory loss, which can be mistaken as part of the natural aging process. A doctor can perform cognitive tests to diagnose Alzheimer's disease and may request a brain scan for a final confirmation of diagnosis. Alzheimer's disease can also cause confusion, mood changes, speech problems and long-term memory loss.

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease affects the memory and is a degenerative disease that also affects the nervous system and causes problems with individual movement and communication skills. The first signs of Parkinson's disease can be a tremor of a hand or when movement becomes slower or stops regularly. There are medications available that can help with some of the symptoms or side effects of Parkinson's disease.

Huntington's Disease

Huntington's disease is another degenerative disease that destroys nerve cells within the brain. Memory loss is only one of the symptoms of Huntington's disease. Other symptoms can be uncontrolled movements, balance problems and regularly occurring emotional swings. Huntington's disease can be inherited, but the chances for that are low.

Dementia

Although dementia is not a disease in its own right, it can be caused by disease. Dementia is a serious disorder that can cause memory loss and the inability to control thoughts. Alzheimer's disease and heart disease that results in a stroke can be causes for dementia and memory loss. Dementia can also cause problems with speech, problem solving and attention span decrease.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease can affect the nervous system and is transmitted to humans and other animals through bites of the B. burgdorferi tick. Lyme can produce long or short memory loss as well as stiffness, numbing, mood swings and headaches. There are treatments available through your doctor, and if it is diagnosed early enough, you may not suffer long-term symptoms. The first sign of Lyme disease is usually a rash surrounding the bitten area.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Syphilis, HIV, herpes and CMV are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that can cause long- and short-term memory loss. Although many STDs do not have a cure yet, there are medications available through your doctor that can aid with certain symptoms and/or side effects. There are tests available for all known sexually transmitted diseases, and there are help centers available online.

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