New theory - memory loss due to depression?

Get Out of Depression – Get back your memory

It is well known that memory declines with age. While aging is an inevitable part of our existence, those who are past their middle years, it must be dreadful to imagine the years ahead, with the fading data bank built so lovingly over the years.
It could well be that Alzheimer’s lurking in the corner and waiting to pounce on you. If we believe in medico-social statistics, 10% of today’s middle-aged American will be experiencing memory loss in 10-15 years as part of the aging process.   Recent findings however say something significant. All memory loss may not be due to Alzheimer’s. There are, as the list shows below, a number of other reasons for memory loss to happen:

Loss of Hearing

Deafness again, is a natural consequence of aging. It becomes more probable, if the person has had excessive exposure to loud music, exposed to heavy work-related noise or one-time exposure to a damaging loud noise. Thus the elderly may develop impaired hearing and in differentiating speech which results in answering wrongly to questions.

Loss of focus

Multitasking is the latest buzzword. This also means loss of focus and getting involved in too many things at the same time. Details of some jobs may be forgotten or even an inter-mixing can also happen. Such forgetfulness is not related at all to Alzheimer’s but an after effect of multitasking.

Longer Recall Times

When did you first meet your partner, what was the make of your first car, these experiences are normally unforgettable. Yet when they jam the corridors of the brain, they become hard to recall instantly. These things are not due to Alzheimer’s but the longer recall times, taken by the brain to scrimmage through the vast information bank, gathered over the years.


This is the last possible cause why people lose memory. When one is depressed, he can hardly concentrate on any other issue other than the issue which makes him depressed. When age catches up with us, we constantly fear weakness, loss of control, death and several such thoughts gather. These anxieties ultimate result in depression and may manifest itself by loss of memory, which resemble signs of Alzheimer’s.

Recently, the Memory Disorders Clinic of the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Marquette University School of Nursing found out that depression was the cause of memory problems of senior citizens and not Alzheimer’s. 

Dr. Piero G. Antuono, professor of neurology at Medical College of Wisconsin, who practices at Froedtert Hospital, conducted a trial by screening 67 seniors.  Twenty-eight of the respondents said they were anxious about their memory, but only 4 were found to have actual diminished memory based on standardized tests.
Furthermore, all but one of the 28 scored high in the depression test.  According to Dr. Antuono, the results of the clinical test showed that memory loss could be anxiety-related and depression.  If the problem of depression is addressed, the memory issue may be addressed as well. 
Additionally he noticed that if someone has a memory problem, especially the elderly, the symptoms may not result in Alzheimer’s.  Like a severe headache need not be a sign of a brain tumor.

The physicians recommend that the best action is to consult a General Physician when one feels depressed and subsequently memory loss manifests itself as a consequence of it. Some tell-tale signs of depression:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" moods
  • A loss of interest or pleasure in activities, including sex
  • Restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism
  • Sleeping too much or too little, early morning awakening
  • Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling "slowed down"
  • Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Persistent physical symptoms that don't respond to treatment such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain


If you or any of your loved ones display signs of memory loss together with one or all of the symptoms above, do not immediately conclude Alzheimer’s disease.  

Consult a doctor and do an assessment of your brain and memory function.  Changes in lifestyle, regular exercises, change in environment or a healthy diet may just be the right remedy to fight depression, and get one’s memory back once again. 

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