4 Brain-Slowing Medications to Avoid if You're Worried About Memory (2023)

A few years ago, while I was at a family celebration, several peoplementioned memory concerns to me.

Some were older adults concerned about the memory of their spouses. Some were adult children concerned about the memory of their parents. And a few were older adults who have noticed some slowing down of their own memory.

“But you know, nothing much that can be done at my age,” remarked one man in his eighties.

Wrong.In fact, there is a lot that can and should be done, if you notice memory or thinking changes in yourself or in another older adult. And you should do it because it ends up making a difference for brain health and quality of life.

First among them: identify medications that make brain function worse.

This is not just my personal opinion. Identifying and reducing such medications is a mainstay of geriatrics practice.

And the expert authors of the National Academy of Medicine report on Cognitive Aging agree: in theirAction Guide for Individuals and Families, they list “Manage your medications” among their “Top 3 actions you can take to help protect your cognitive health as you age.”

Unfortunately, many older adults are unaware of this recommendation. And I can’t tell you how often I find that seniors are taking over-the-counter or prescription medications that dampen their brain function. Sometimes it’s truly necessary but often it’s not.

(Video) Brain Foods for Brain Health - Boost Brain Health with Good Eats

What especially troubles me is that most of these older adults — and their families — have no idea that many have been linked to developing dementia, or to worsening of dementia symptoms. So it’s worth spotting them whether you are concerned about mild cognitive impairment or caring for someone with full-blown Alzheimers.

Every older adult and family should know how to optimize brain function. Avoiding problem medications — or at least using them judiciously and in the lowest doses necessary — is key to this.

And don’t give anyone a pass when they say“Oh, I’ve always taken this drug.” Younger and healthier brains experience less dysfunction from these drugs. That’s because a younger brain has more processing power and is more resilient. So drugs that aren’t such problems earlier in life oftenhave more impact later in life. Just because you took a drug in your youth or middle years doesn’t mean it’s harmless to continue once you are older.

You should also know that most of these drugs affect balance, and may increase fall risk. So there’s a double benefit in identifying them, and minimizing them.

Below, I share the most commonly useddrugs that you should look out for if you are worried about memory problems.

Featured Download: Get my free list of medications that can affect memory and thinking in aging adults. This handy PDF includes all the medications I usually check for.Click here to download.

The Four Most Commonly Used Types ofMedications That Dampen Brain Function

1. Benzodiazepines.This class of medication is often prescribed to help people sleep, or to help with anxiety. They do work well for this purpose, but they are habit-forming and have been associated with developing dementia.

  • Commonly prescribed benzodiazepines include lorazepam, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam (brand names Ativan, Valium, Restoril, and Xanax, respectively)
  • For more on the risks of benzodiazepines, plus a handout clinically proven to help seniors reduce their use of these drugs, see “How You Can Help Someone Stop Ativan.”
  • Note that it can be dangerous to stop benzodiazepines suddenly. These drugs should always be tapered, under medical supervision.
  • Alternatives to consider:
    • For insomnia, there is no easy and fast alternative. Just about all sedatives — many are listed in this post — dampen brain function. Many people can learn to sleep without drugs, but it usually takes a comprehensiveeffort over weeks or even months. This may involve cognitive-behavioral therapy, as well as increased exercise and other lifestyle changes. You can learn more about comprehensive insomnia treatment by getting the Insomnia Workbook (often available at the library!) or something similar.
    • For anxiety, there is also no easy replacement. However,there are some drug options that affect brain function less, such as SSRIs (e.g. sertraline and citalopram, brand names Zoloft and Celexa). Cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness therapy also helps, if sustained.
    • Even if it’s not possible to entirely stop a benzodiazepine, tapering to a lower dose will likely help brain function in the short-term.
  • Other risks in seniors:
    • Benzodiazepines increase fall risk.
    • These drugs sometimes are abused, especially in people with a history of substance abuse.
  • Other things to keep in mind:
    • If a person does develop dementia, it becomes much harderto stop these drugs. That’s because everyone has to endure some increased anxiety, agitation, and/or insomnia while the senior adjusts to tapering these drugs, and the more cognitively impaired the senior is, the harder it is on everyone. So it’s much better to find non-benzo ways to deal with anxiety and insomnia sooner, rather than later. (Don’t kick that can down the road!)

2. Non-benzodiazepine prescription sedatives. By far the most commonly used are the “z-drugs” which include zolpidem, zaleplon, and eszopiclone (brand names Ambien, Sonata, and Lunesta, respectively). These have been shown in clinical studies to impair thinking — and balance! — in the short-term.

(Video) How To Cure "Brain Fog" | 3 Tips for Mental Clarity

  • Some studies have linked these drugs to dementia. However we also know that developing dementia is associated with sleep problems, so the cause-effect relationship remains a little murky.
  • For alternatives, see the section about insomnia above.
  • Occasionally, geriatricians will try trazodone (25-50mg) as a sleep aid. It is thought to be less risky than the z-drugs or benzodiazepines. Of course, it seems to have less of a strong effect on insomnia as well.
  • Other risks in seniors:
    • These drugs worsen balance and increase fall risk.

3. Anticholinergics. This group covers most over-the-counter sleeping aids, as well as a variety of other prescription drugs. These medications have the chemical property of blocking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This means they have the opposite effect of an Alzheimer’s drug like donepezil (brand name Aricept), which is a cholinesterase inhibitor, meaning it inhibits the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine. A 2015 study found that greater use of these drugs was linked to a higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s.

Drugs vary in how strong their anticholinergic activity is. Focus your energies on spotting the ones that have “high” anticholinergic activity. For a good list that classifies drugs as high or low anticholinergic activity, see here.

I reviewed the most commonly used of these drugs in this video:

I also cover them in an article here: “7 Common Brain-Slowing Anticholinergic Drugs Older Adults Should Use With Caution.” Briefly, drugs of this type to look out for include:

  • Sedating antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (brand name Benadryl).
  • The “PM” versions of over-the-counter analgesics (e.g. Nyquil, Tylenol PM); the “PM” ingredient is usually a sedating antihistamine.
  • Medications for overactive bladder, such as the bladder relaxantsoxybutynin and tolterodine (brand names Ditropan and Detrol, respectively).
    • Note that medications that relax the urethra, such as tamsulosin or terazosin (Flomax and Hytrin, respectively) are NOT anticholinergic. So they’re not risky in the same way, although they can cause orthostatic hypotension and other problems in older adults. Medications that shrink the prostate, such as finasteride (Proscar) aren’t anticholinergic either.
  • Medications for vertigo, motion sickness, or nausea, such as meclizine, scopolamine, or promethazine (brand names Antivert, Scopace, and Phenergan).
  • Medications for itching, such as hydroxyzine and diphenhydramine (brand names Vistaril and Benadryl).
  • Muscle relaxants, such as cyclobenzaprine (brand name Flexeril).
  • “Tricyclic” antidepressants, which are an older type of antidepressant which is now mainly prescribed for nerve pain, and includes amitryptiline and nortriptyline (brand names Elavil and Pamelor).

There is also one of the popular SSRI-type antidepressants that is known to be quite anticholinergic: paroxetine (brand name Paxil). For this reason, geriatricians almost never prescribe this particular anti-depressant.

For help spotting other anticholinergics, ask a pharmacist or the doctor, or review the list.

Alternatives to these drugs really dependon what they are being prescribed for. Often non-drug alternatives are available, but they may not be offered unless you ask. For example, an oral medication for itching can be replaced by a topical cream. Or the right kind of stretching can help with tight muscles.

(Video) How stress affects your brain - Madhumita Murgia

Aside from affecting thinking, these drugs can potentially worsen balance. They also are known to cause dry mouth, dry eyes, and can worsen constipation. (Acetylcholine helps the gut keep things moving.)

4. Antipsychotics and mood-stabilizers.In older adults, these are usually prescribed to manage difficult behaviors related to Alzheimer’s and other dementias. (In a minority of seniors, they are prescribed for serious mental illness such as schizophrenia. Mood-stabilizing drugs are also used to treat seizures.) For dementia behaviors, these drugs are often inappropriately prescribed, as in this NYT story. All antipsychotics and mood-stabilizers are sedating and dampen brain function. In older people with dementia, they’vealso been linked to a higher chance of dying.

  • Commonly prescribed antipsychotics are mainly “second-generation” and include risperidone, quetiapine, olanzapine, and aripiprazole (Risperdal, Seroquel, Zyprexa, and Abilify, respectively).
  • The first-generation antipsychotic haloperidol (Haldol) is still sometimes used.
  • Valproate (brand name Depakote) is a commonly used mood-stabilizer.
  • Alternatives to consider:
    • Alternatives to these drugs should always be explored. Generally, you need to start by properly assessing what’s causing the agitation, and trying to manage that. A number of behavioral approaches can also help with difficult behaviors. For more, see this nice NPR story from March 2015. I also have an article describing behavioral approaches here: .
    • For medication alternatives, there is some scientific evidencesuggesting that the SSRI citalopram may help, that cholinesterase inhibitors such as donepezil may help, and that the dementia drug memantine may help. These are usually well-tolerated so it’s often reasonable to give them a try.
  • If an antipsychotics or mood-stabilizer is used, it should be as a last resort and at the lowest effective dose. This means starting with a teeny dose. However, many non-geriatrician clinicians start at much higher doses than I would.
  • Other risks in older adults:
    • Antipsychotics have been associated with falls. There is also increased risk of death, as above.
  • Caveat regarding discontinuing antipsychotics in people with dementia: Research has found that there is a fair risk of “relapse” (meaning agitation or psychotic symptoms getting worse) after antipsychotics are discontinued. A 2015 study of nursing home residents with dementia concluded that antipsychotic discontinuation is most likely to succeed if it’s combined with adding more social interventions and also exercise.
  • You can learn more about medications to treat dementia behaviors in this article: “5 Types of Medication Used to Treat Difficult Dementia Behaviors

A Fifth Type of Medication That Affects Brain Function

Opiate pain medications. Unlike the other drugs mentioned above, opiates (other than tramadol) are not on the Beer’s list of medications that older adults should avoid. That said, they do seem to dampen thinking abilities a bit, even in long-term users. (With time and regular use, people develop tolerance so they are less drowsy, but seems there can stillbe an effect on thinking.) As far as I know, opiates are not thought to accelerate long-term cognitive decline.

  • Commonly prescribed opiatesinclude hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine, methadone, hydromorphone, and fentanyl. (Brand names depend on the formulation and on whether the drug is mixed with acetaminophen.)
  • Tramadol (brand name Ultram) is a weaker opiate withweaker prescribing controls.
    • Many geriatricians consider it more problematic than the classic Schedule II opiates listed above, as it interacts with a lot of medications and still affects brain function. It’s a “dirty drug,” as one of my friends likes to say.
  • Alternatives depend on what type of pain is present. Generally, if people are taking opiates then they have pain that needs to be treated. However, a thoughtful holistic approach to pain oftenenables a person to get by with less medication, which can improve thinking abilities.
  • For people who have moderate or severe dementia, it’s important to know that untreated pain can worsen their thinking. So sometimes a low dose of opiate medication does end up improving their thinking.
  • Other risks in older adults:
    • There is some risk of developing a problematic addiction, especially if there’s a prior history of substance abuse. But in my experience, having someone else — usually younger — steal or use the drugs is a more likely problem.

Where to Learn About Other Drugs That Affect Brain Function

Many other drugs that affect brain function, but they are either not used as often as the ones above, or seem to affect a minority of older adults.

Notably, there has been a lot of concern in the media about statins, but a meta-analysis published in 2015 could not confirm an association between statin use and increased cognitive impairment. In fact, a 2016 study found that statin use was associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

This is not to say that statins aren’t overprescribed or riskier than we used to think. And it’s also quite possible that some people do have their thinking affected by statins. But if you are trying to eliminate medications that dampen brain function, I would recommend you focus on the ones I listed above first.

For a comprehensive list of medications identified as risky by the experts at the American Geriatrics Society, be sure to review the 2019 Beers Criteria.

You can also learn more about medications that increase fall risk in this article: 10 Types of Medications to Review if You’re Concerned About Falling.

(Video) Could your brain repair itself? - Ralitsa Petrova

What to Do if You or Your Relative Is On These Medications

So what should you do if you discover that your older relative — or you yourself — are taking some of these medications?

If it’s an over-the-counter anticholinergic, you can just stop it. Allergies can be treated with non-sedating antihistamines like loratadine (brand name Claritin), or you can ask the doctor about a nasal steroid spray. “PM” painkillers can be replaced by the non-PM version, and remember that the safest OTC analgesic for older adults is acetaminophen (Tylenol).

If you are taking an over-the-counter sleep aid, it contains a sedating antihistamine and those are strongly anticholinergic. You can just stop an OTC sleep aid, but in the short term, insomnia often gets worse. So you’ll need to address the insomnia with non-drug techniques. (See here for more: .)

You should also discuss any insomnia or sleep problems with your doctors — it’s important to rule out pain and serious medical problems as a cause of insomnia — but becareful: many of them will prescribe a sleeping pill, because they haven’t trained in geriatrics and they under-estimate the risks of these drugs.

If one or more of the medications above has been prescribed, don’t stop without firstconsulting with a health professional. You’ll want to make an appointment soon, to review the reasons that the medication was prescribed, alternative options for treating the problem, and then work out a plan to reduce or eliminate the drug.

To prepare for the appointment,try going through the five steps I describe in this article: “.”

I also recommend reviewing HealthinAging.org’s guide, “What to Ask Your Health Provider if a Medication You Take is Listed in the Beers Criteria.”

Remember, when it comes to maintaining independence and quality of life, nothing is more important than optimizing brain function.

(Video) Neuroscientist explains the best exercise to improve brain function

We can’t turn back the clock and not all brain changes are reversible. But by spotting problem medications and reducing them whenever possible, we can help older adultsthink their best.

Now go check out those medication bottles, and let me know what you find!


We are at 200+ comments, so comments on this post have been closed. If you have a question about your medications, we recommend consulting with your usual health provider or discussing with a pharmacist.

FAQs

What medications can interfere with memory? ›

Caution! These 10 Drugs Can Cause Memory Loss
  • Antianxiety drugs (Benzodiazepines) ...
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs (Statins) ...
  • Antiseizure drugs. ...
  • Antidepressant drugs (Tricyclic antidepressants) ...
  • Narcotic painkillers. ...
  • Parkinson's drugs (Dopamine agonists) ...
  • Hypertension drugs (Beta-blockers)
9 Feb 2016

What medication slows down the brain? ›

Benzodiazepines boost another neurotransmitter's effectiveness. They make gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)—which slows the activity of neurons in the brain-—more potent. For that reason, they are used to calm anxiety and help people sleep.

Which medication has been most strongly associated with memory loss? ›

Benzodiazepines and anticholinergic drugs are considered to be the drugs most often responsible for iatrogenic amnesia. The impact of drugs in memory disorders is particularly pronounced in elderly people, especially due to polymedication.

What are the 9 medications that cause dementia? ›

Some anticholinergic drugs linked to dementia risk include:
  • Amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Aripiprazole (Abilify)
  • Benztropine (Cogentin)
  • Biperiden (Akineton)
  • Brompheniramine (Dimaphen DM)
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • Chlorpheniramine (ChlorTrimeton)
  • Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
16 Jun 2022

How can I improve my memory recall? ›

Advertisement
  1. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. ...
  2. Stay mentally active. ...
  3. Socialize regularly. ...
  4. Get organized. ...
  5. Sleep well. ...
  6. Eat a healthy diet. ...
  7. Manage chronic conditions.

Can medications mess with your memory? ›

Certain medications can slow down the thinking process and harm our memory. Taking medications may make our brain foggy, impeding our ability to concentrate on a task and making it more difficult to remember things.

What is the best drug to improve memory? ›

Are there any FDA-approved treatments for memory loss?
  • Donepezil (Aricept)
  • Memantine (Namenda)
  • Namzaric.
  • Rivastigmine (Exelon)
  • Galantamine (Razadyne)
18 May 2021

Which antidepressants increase risk of dementia? ›

Others show that both SSRIs and non-SSRIs antidepressant use increases the risk of dementia. One study found higher rates of dementia among depressed patients exposed to SSRI, but low risk of dementia in patients treated with tricyclic antidepressants.

What are the 3 foods that fight memory loss? ›

What are the foods that fight memory loss? Berries, fish, and leafy green vegetables are 3 of the best foods that fight memory loss. There's a mountain of evidence showing they support and protect brain health.

What drugs cause dementia like symptoms? ›

They noted a significant increase in dementia risk for those using anticholinergic antidepressants, antiparkinson drugs, antipsychotics, bladder antimuscarinic drugs, and antiepileptic drugs.

Can melatonin cause memory loss? ›

It is found that melatonin has a negative effect on long-term potentiation, inhibiting its magnitude. As long-term potentiation is related to some forms of learning and memory, melatonin inhibits learning and memory too.

What drug causes memory loss and fatigue? ›

Examples: Alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), flurazepam (Dalmane), lorazepam (Ativan), midazolam (Versed), quazepam (Doral), temazepam (Restoril) and triazolam (Halcion).

What medications should be avoided in the elderly? ›

Here are seven common types of anticholinergic medication that older adults should avoid, or use with caution:
  • Sedating antihistamines. ...
  • PM versions of over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers. ...
  • Medications for overactive bladder. ...
  • Medications for vertigo or motion sickness. ...
  • Medications for itching. ...
  • Medications for nerve pain.

Which prescription drugs cause dementia? ›

Which Common Medications Are Linked to Dementia?
  • Antidepressants,
  • Antiparkinson drugs,
  • Antipsychotics,
  • Antimuscarinics (Used to treat an overactive bladder), and.
  • Antiepileptic drugs.

Why do I forget things immediately after thinking of them? ›

Forgetfulness can arise from stress, depression, lack of sleep or thyroid problems. Other causes include side effects from certain medicines, an unhealthy diet or not having enough fluids in your body (dehydration). Taking care of these underlying causes may help resolve your memory problems.

Does omega-3 fish oil help with memory? ›

Does Fish Oil Help With Memory? Yes, because the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish support good brain health, these nutrients also support the functions of the brain — which, of course, includes thinking and memory.

What causes memory loss and forgetfulness? ›

Memory and other thinking problems have many possible causes, including depression, an infection, or medication side effects. Sometimes, the problem can be treated, and cognition improves. Other times, the problem is a brain disorder, such as Alzheimer's disease, which cannot be reversed.

What medicine causes confusion? ›

Medicines That Can Cause Confusion or a Decreased Alertness
  • Antidepressants.
  • Antihistamines.
  • Opioid pain medicines.
  • Sedatives and tranquilizers.
  • Medicines for bladder control problems (anticholinergics).

What is one of the first signs of cognitive decline? ›

Signs that you may be experiencing cognitive decline include: Forgetting appointments and dates. Forgetting recent conversations and events. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by making decisions and plans.

Does B12 help with memory? ›

Scientists have long been researching the relationship between low levels of B12 (cobalamin) and memory loss. However, if you get an adequate amount of B12, there is no evidence that higher intake has positive effects.

What is the most important vitamin for the brain? ›

When it comes to brain health, focus on the three B's : vitamins B6, B12, and B9 (folate). “These three types of B vitamins are necessary for the brain's normal functioning,” says Dr. Agarwal, “and any deficiency in them may increase the risk of memory loss and other forms of cognitive decline.”

What is the best medication for short term memory loss? ›

Cholinesterase (KOH-luh-NES-ter-ays) inhibitors are prescribed to treat symptoms related to memory, thinking, language, judgment and other thought processes.

Which antidepressant should be avoided in the elderly? ›

Tricyclic antidepressants, especially amitriptyline and dothiepin,16 are known to pose a high risk of death in overdosage. These drugs should therefore be avoided in older people whose medication is not supervised and who are at risk of taking an overdose.

Can melatonin cause dementia? ›

The National Institutes for Health said using melatonin occasionally is fine but high levels have been linked to dementia, early mortality and other health issues.

What cholesterol drug is linked to dementia? ›

Evidence for Statins Increasing Risk of Dementia

Simvastatin, atorvastatin, and pravastatin were the medications taken by the patients who were described. About half of these patients noticed cognitive problems within two months of starting treatment.

Which fruit is good for brain memory? ›

Blueberries

Some of the antioxidants in blueberries have been found to accumulate in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells ( 17 , 19 ). According to one review of 11 studies, blueberries could help improve memory and certain cognitive processes in children and older adults ( 20 ).

Which fruit is best for brain? ›

Certain fruits such as oranges, bell peppers, guava, kiwi, tomatoes, and strawberries, contain high amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps prevent brain cells from becoming damaged and supports overall brain health. In fact, a study found that vitamin C can potentially prevent Alzheimer's.

Can vitamin D reverse dementia? ›

The research team estimated that 17% of dementia cases could potentially be prevented by increasing vitamin D levels from 25 nmol/L to 50 nmol/L. “In some contexts, where vitamin D deficiency is relatively common, our findings have important implications for dementia risks,” Hypponen said.

What is the best vitamin for focus? ›

Vitamin D3 and B vitamins. D3 helps to boost your concentration levels. It's key for healthy nerve function and overall functioning of your body and maintenance. B vitamins, in general, are well known for improving energy, focus, and alertness.

Does zinc help with brain fog? ›

#9: Frequent brain fog

A lack of zinc can lead to foggy thinking and memory problems. Because zinc is so important to cognitive function, zinc supplementation has also been successful in improving the symptoms of ADHD.

Is vitamin D3 and vitamin D the same? ›

There are two possible forms of vitamin D in the human body: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Both D2 and D3 are simply called “vitamin D,” so there's no meaningful difference between vitamin D3 and just vitamin D.

What is the 3 word memory test? ›

The Mini-Cog test.

A third test, known as the Mini-Cog, takes 2 to 4 minutes to administer and involves asking patients to recall three words after drawing a picture of a clock. If a patient shows no difficulties recalling the words, it is inferred that he or she does not have dementia.

Can dementia be seen on an MRI? ›

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Repeat scans can show how a person's brain changes over time. Evidence of shrinkage may support a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or another neurodegenerative dementia but cannot indicate a specific diagnosis. MRI also provides a detailed picture of brain blood vessels.

Can a blood test detect dementia? ›

A new blood testing technique could help researchers detect Alzheimer's disease prior to onset or in those showing early signs of dementia. The approach could be less invasive and costly than current brain imaging and spinal fluid tests, enabling earlier treatments and testing of novel approaches.

Who should not take melatonin? ›

Because melatonin can cause daytime drowsiness, don't drive or use machinery within five hours of taking the supplement. Don't use melatonin if you have an autoimmune disease.

Can seniors take melatonin every night? ›

Although melatonin is usually considered safer than benzodiazepines, an increased fracture risk has recently been reported with this drug, and caution should be advised for elderly patients at risk for falls.

Can Benadryl cause dementia? ›

The research to date has not definitively proven that Benadryl (as a specific individual medication) raises the risk of developing dementia. However, the class of medications Benadryl belongs to (anticholinergics) does appear to be associated with dementia.

Why am I forgetting things all of a sudden? ›

Forgetfulness can arise from stress, depression, lack of sleep or thyroid problems. Other causes include side effects from certain medicines, an unhealthy diet or not having enough fluids in your body (dehydration). Taking care of these underlying causes may help resolve your memory problems.

What causes memory loss and forgetfulness? ›

Memory and other thinking problems have many possible causes, including depression, an infection, or medication side effects. Sometimes, the problem can be treated, and cognition improves. Other times, the problem is a brain disorder, such as Alzheimer's disease, which cannot be reversed.

What is the best medicine to help your memory? ›

Are there any FDA-approved treatments for memory loss?
  • Donepezil (Aricept)
  • Memantine (Namenda)
  • Namzaric.
  • Rivastigmine (Exelon)
  • Galantamine (Razadyne)
18 May 2021

What is one of the first signs of cognitive decline? ›

Signs that you may be experiencing cognitive decline include: Forgetting appointments and dates. Forgetting recent conversations and events. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by making decisions and plans.

Why do I forget words when talking? ›

Aphasia is a communication disorder that makes it hard to use words. It can affect your speech, writing, and ability to understand language. Aphasia results from damage or injury to language parts of the brain. It's more common in older adults, particularly those who have had a stroke.

What bacteria causes memory loss and forgetfulness? ›

Researchers recently published a new line of evidence supporting a hypothesis that Alzheimer's might be a result of an infection by oral bacteria P. gingivalis. The bacteria produces toxins called gingipains that are found to accumulate in the brain of Alzheimer's patients.

What part of the brain is responsible for memory loss? ›

Damage to the frontal lobe of the brain eventually causes problems with intelligence, judgment, and behaviour. Damage to the temporal lobe affects memory. And damage to the parietal lobe affects language. Alzheimer's is the most common form of mental decline, or dementia, in older adults.

What part of the brain controls memory? ›

Hippocampus. A curved seahorse-shaped organ on the underside of each temporal lobe, the hippocampus is part of a larger structure called the hippocampal formation. It supports memory, learning, navigation and perception of space.

Does B12 help with memory? ›

Scientists have long been researching the relationship between low levels of B12 (cobalamin) and memory loss. However, if you get an adequate amount of B12, there is no evidence that higher intake has positive effects.

What are the 3 foods that fight memory loss? ›

What are the foods that fight memory loss? Berries, fish, and leafy green vegetables are 3 of the best foods that fight memory loss. There's a mountain of evidence showing they support and protect brain health.

What drugs improve brain function? ›

Eugeroics are a class of drugs that promote wakefulness and alertness. The most commonly used Eugeroic drug that is used to improve cognition is Modafinil. The drug was introduced in the late 1990s to treat narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea and shift work sleep disorder.

What is the clock test for dementia? ›

The clock-drawing test is a quick way to screen for early dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. It involves drawing a clock on a piece of paper with numbers, clock hands, and a specific time. The inability to do so is a strong indication of mental decline.

What can trigger dementia? ›

Dementia is caused by damage to or loss of nerve cells and their connections in the brain.
...
They include:
  • Infections and immune disorders. ...
  • Metabolic problems and endocrine abnormalities. ...
  • Nutritional deficiencies. ...
  • Medication side effects. ...
  • Subdural hematomas. ...
  • Brain tumors. ...
  • Normal-pressure hydrocephalus.

How do doctors test for memory problems? ›

In addition to a general physical exam, your doctor will likely conduct question-and-answer tests to judge your memory and other thinking skills. He or she may also order blood tests, brain-imaging scans and other tests that can help identify reversible causes of memory problems and dementia-like symptoms.

Videos

1. Parkinson's 101: What You and Your Family Should Know
(Parkinson's Foundation)
2. How the food you eat affects your brain - Mia Nacamulli
(TED-Ed)
3. Mechanism of Drug Addiction in the Brain, Animation.
(Alila Medical Media)
4. Is marijuana bad for your brain? - Anees Bahji
(TED-Ed)
5. You can grow new brain cells. Here's how | Sandrine Thuret
(TED)
6. What Happens To Your Body And Brain If You Don't Get Sleep | The Human Body
(Tech Insider)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Clemencia Bogisich Ret

Last Updated: 03/21/2023

Views: 5939

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Clemencia Bogisich Ret

Birthday: 2001-07-17

Address: Suite 794 53887 Geri Spring, West Cristentown, KY 54855

Phone: +5934435460663

Job: Central Hospitality Director

Hobby: Yoga, Electronics, Rafting, Lockpicking, Inline skating, Puzzles, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Clemencia Bogisich Ret, I am a super, outstanding, graceful, friendly, vast, comfortable, agreeable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.