What Are the Most Common Causes of Forgetfulness and Memory Loss?

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We all forget things at times. You might forget where you put the car keys or the name of a person you have already met. Some memory loss and cognitive decline are normal, but rapid declines can be an issue. Several factors can cause forgetfulness and memory loss and we are going to explore them below.


Aging remains the most common cause of memory loss and forgetfulness. As we age, a decline in cognitive skills and memory is expected. This is because of changes in our brains, the aging of cells, and a general decline in cognitive capacity. However, that does not mean that older people cannot enjoy their lives simply due to their memory loss.

Many of the memory changes caused by age are manageable with changes in our lifestyles, such as using lists more or giving ourselves some time to remember things. The problem arises when memory loss and forgetfulness lead to a reduction in the quality of our lives, present significant challenges and introduce safety issues into our lives.

The good news is that there are now lots of care options for early-stage memory loss as well as continuous programs for those who continue struggling with the issue. For a loved one with memory loss and forgetfulness, scheduling a tour of senior living facilities near me like Belmont Village can help enlighten you and your loved one about the memory care options that exist.


Dementia is used to describe a set of symptoms and conditions that impair memories, reasoning language, judgment, and other cognitive abilities. Dementia is progressive and affects a person as they get older. Memory loss is one of the first and most recognizable symptoms of dementia. Other signs include forgetting words when speaking, taking longer to complete tasks, getting lost in familiar places, mood or behavioral changes, and asking questions multiple times.

Due to the numerous symptoms associated with the condition, dementia can make it harder to have a fulfilling life. It can make social interactions harder and impair one’s ability to work.

Reversible Causes

There is nothing we can do about memory loss caused by age or dementia, but there are other factors that cause memory loss that we have control over. Several medications can cause forgetfulness. Talking to a doctor so they can replace these medications is the best cause of action.

Head injuries and trauma can also cause memory loss. Falls and accidents are the main culprits here and, if they are minor enough, the memory loss will be temporary. However, it is important to understand that each injury or accident is different and memory loss manifests in different ways so the memory loss they cause is not always reversible.

Emotional disorders such as depression, stress, and anxiety also cause forgetfulness, as does alcoholism. Chronic alcoholism affects all cognitive abilities, including memory, and it is most dangerous if alcohol interacts with medications.

Brain diseases can cause symptoms similar to those of dementia, while an underactive thyroid gland can result in cognitive difficulties.

As you can see, there are many causes of memory loss. If you do experience memory loss or forgetfulness, you should see a doctor so they can diagnose the issue. Memory loss can be various serious, and this is why getting help is so important.