Memory Loss

South Valley Neurology

Neurologists and Pediatric Neurologist located in Morgan Hill, CA & San Jose, CA

Memory loss is typically associated with aging, and is a significant concern for patients as they start to notice memory glitches. But memory loss arises from many possible problems. The specialists at South Valley Neurology, with offices in Morgan Hill, California for older children and adult care and San Jose, California, for pediatric care, provide compassionate care for patients with all types of memory loss, using their expertise to create a customized treatment that produces optimal results. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices or use the online booking feature.

Memory Loss Q & A

What causes memory loss?

Memory loss results from changes in your brain due to injury, disease, or neurotransmitter imbalances. Your memory loss may be temporary or get progressively worse. It may affect your ability to remember recent events or things that occurred years ago.

Medical problems that can lead to memory loss include:

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Brain infection
  • Brain tumor
  • Lack of oxygen
  • Cancer treatment
  • Hydrocephalus

Some mental health disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, can cause memory loss.

What should I know about dementia?

Dementia refers to a group of symptoms that develop due to memory loss and changes in thinking skills. Medical conditions such as kidney disease and vitamin B12 deficiency can cause dementia. With these conditions, your memory usually improves when the underlying problem is treated.

There are four types of dementia that get progressively worse over the years:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Vascular dementia
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia

Parkinson’s disease may also cause progressive memory loss, but it doesn’t affect everyone diagnosed with the condition.

What should I know about Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is responsible for 60-80% of all cases of dementia. Two problems are known to cause Alzheimer’s: neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques. Both consist of proteins that accumulate and progressively destroy nerve cells. 

As more brain damage occurs, Alzheimer’s progresses through stages of gradually deteriorating memory and cognitive functioning.

 What symptoms develop due to dementia?

Memory loss is the first symptom in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, or Lewy body dementia. Behavioral changes are the first signs of frontotemporal dementia, and memory loss develops in later stages.

In addition to memory loss, patients with dementia experience cognitive problems such as confusion, difficulty communicating, and trouble with problem-solving. Dementia also makes many patients agitated and angry and results in personality changes. As dementias progress, they may cause hallucinations.

How is memory loss treated?

Your treatment depends on the underlying cause of your memory loss. Treatment for traumatic brain injury ranges from rest for a mild concussion to medications and emergency surgery for a severe injury.

When treating dementias, your South Valley Neurology provider focuses on helping patients maintain mental function for as long as possible, slowing down the progression, and managing behavioral and emotional problems. They may prescribe medications to improve symptoms or help patients maintain normal function longer.

If you have questions about memory loss or would like to schedule an appointment, use the online booking feature or call South Valley Neurology today.