If you notice that your memory is poor, it is natural to think of a worrying explanation such as Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia. In fact, there is usually another reason and the problem is often temporary.
Causes of memory problems
- Work-related problems
- Divorce or other relationship problems
- Being charged with an offence
- Being involved in litigation
Normal ageing. During your mid-40s and 50s, it is quite normal to believe you have become more forgetful. Surveys find that half of people over the age of 50 report some memory problems (British Medical Journal 2010;340:730-6). But it may not be as bad as you think. Young people forget things and do not bother about it, but older people take more notice of their memory lapses, and worry about them. Do not make the mistake of thinking that everyday memory lapses are Alzheimer's disease – forgetting where you put your keys is not Alzheimer's! We all occasionally put things in strange places (such as the keys in the fridge), but it is only when this sort of thing begins to happen regularly that there may be a problem.
Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Wednesday, October 5th 2011
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