Who gets memory illnesses?

Memory: Fragile and Priceless

One of the things man has been still groping to find is what goes on the deep crevices of the human mind. The mind is the most private corner inside our minds. You can take away everything from a man’s possession, keep him under strict scrutiny round the clock – you will still not be able to gauge, what he is actually thinking. He could be thinking about his home, his family or the government, or the people who put him there, who knows. Only he and his memory can tell.
Memory is a man’s competence to stock, maintain and recall information from his mind. There are three types of memory, sensory, short and long-term. Sensory memory is what you feel at one instant. Quickly as it came, it goes into short term memory storage. Short tem memory is also volatile; it evaporates, unless efforts are taken to stash it away in the long term memory slot. Short term memory, as the name suggests, has longevity for a limited period of time only and is temporary in nature. Long term memory on the other hand is made up of historical and general events. It can be divided into two categories: declarative memory and procedural memory.
Declarative memory is something where one has to put in an extra effort to recall. For instance, the biggest river is in China. This information needs some knowledge of semantics which require abstract knowledge. Also some memories of personal experience, like, what does it feel like when you go through love at first sight.
Procedural memory is what we use to learn motor skills. This type of memory uses the capacity of the human body to learn new way of doing things, or repeating an action.

Additionally there is a memory called the working memory. When one is working out a complex problem, the data that gets generated in the process is stored for quick retrieval, and called the working memory.

Memory goes through three primary stages: store, retain, and retrieve. Any damage to any of the stages, result in memory problems.

Memory loss can have its onslaught irrespective of sex, age or class. It can result from a large variety of reasons, both internal and external:

  • Age - Advancing age is of course, the most common cause of memory loss. As one ages, the brain makes lesser neurons which is responsible for the upkeep of memory. If the aged person has a problem with retrieval or learning, its not regarded as a problem unless it is caused by a mental disorder.
      • Again with age, a person’s capacity for retention of memory diminishes significantly. This becomes more prominent, if he/she is also suffering from a mental disorder called dementia.
      • The most general form of dementia is Alzheimer’s. Essentially an old age disease, it shows distinctive signs of memory decline, as well as other functional areas like learning ability, understanding and communicating, etc.
  • Injury to the head - Studies have proved that accidents with head trauma have been responsible for future memory loss.
  • Heart attacks or cardiac arrests - Those who have had heart attacks, have increased chances to suffer from memory loss in future. This is because of less blood being circulated in the body and when there is less blood in the brain, it results in the brain having amyloidal deposits.
  • Strokes - Victims of strokes have an increased chance of developing memory problems later as the heart ailment affects the body’s competence to filter out the toxins.
  • Smoking - The chance of memory losses increases twice as much for those puffers. Loss of memory is a result of increase in production of free radicals in the smoker’s body. Smokers also have a reduced ability to fight the onset of other diseases and are prone to fall victim of cancer.
      • Excessive consumption of alcohol impedes memory function. Reasons are very similar to smoking. Alcohol also increases the strain on the liver.       
      • When tumors grow, and they put pressure on the brain, it can affect memory. Surgery can ease the pressure and put the brain back to normalcy.
  • Drug abuse - Certain chemical substances do cause memory loss, especially in the elderly, as clinical studies have shown.
  • Encephalitis - Diseases transmitted through body fluids, cause the brain to be infected. It weakens as a result as the whole body tries to survive the attack of the virus. The most common form of encephalitis is Herpes Simplex.

Hope this article will provide the information about who got the memory illnesses.

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