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Memory Loss and Impairment in Young Women

By HERWriter
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Memory impairment and loss are usually associated with older women and men, but in some cases younger people can also present these symptoms or side effects.

Although memory impairment and loss are not very common in youth, especially memory loss, it’s important to be aware of what the underlying causes could be.

Dr. Sudeepta Varma, a clinical assistant professor at New York University, explained some possible causes of memory loss and impairment in young women.

“It’s not very common, and usually when it occurs it’s in the context, at least from a psychiatric point of view, of mental health issues,” Varma said.

Some mental disorders and issues associated with memory loss and impairment are mood disorder, anxiety disorders (like post-traumatic stress disorder), trauma, ADD and substance abuse.

“If people are having impairment in memory, it’s often associated with impairment in attention and/or concentration as well,” Varma said.

Memory loss or impairment are not the main problems – usually there are other causes.

“There’s really no one common cause of memory loss per se,” Varma said. “Often you uncover that there are disturbances in memory, but it’s related to something else. Depression is one of the most common causes of memory loss.”

She added that depression is a common cause of memory loss when accounting for dementia-related memory loss and when focusing on psychiatric causes.

“The cause of the problem is not totally clear. We know that serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters … that affects our mood, but it also affects our concentration,” Varma said.

Although rare, there is a possibility for early-onset Alzheimer’s, but that’s generally more common in 40 to 50-year-olds, according to the Alzheimer’s Association website. Pregnancy, poor diet and menopause can also cause memory loss, according to a few studies.

Varma suggests going to a doctor first to “rule out any medical causes” of memory loss or impairment, which can include hypothyroidism, lupus and diabetes. After that, she suggests seeing a psychiatrist.

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EmpowHER Guest

There are many causes of memory loss, both short and long-term, and depression and anxiety are both very common components in both cases. These conditions can both result in causing a kind of brain fog that makes it difficult for the sufferer to remember even the simplest day to day things, and the worst part of all is that this often causes them to become even more depressed and anxious and they then get caught in a vicious cycle.
Causes of memory loss

March 21, 2011 - 1:41am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.