Many people often complain that they are not able to recollect what happened few minutes ago. Problem in retrieving recent memory, means difficulty in remembering the events that happened 20-30 minutes earlier, is simply termed as short-term memory loss. There are many factors that cause problem in retrieving recent memory and knowing about it can help you manage the condition in a better way.

If you are finding difficulty in learning new things or retrieving what you have just read or you often forget why you walked into the room, then you might be suffering from short term memory loss. It is the condition where you have problem in retrieving recent memory of what happened recently. It is becoming the most common problem and needs great understanding of the factors that influence problem in retrieving recent memory.

Problem in Retrieving Recent Memory

Problem in Retrieving Recent Memory

There are different kinds of memory. The sensory memory stores the information that is collected through the senses and it stores the information for few seconds only. The short term memory is usually stored for seconds, but they are registered at subconscious level which is later transformed into long term memory that remains for years to come. The other is photographic memory where the brain stores the events in photographic details.

There are many situations when you have problem in retrieving recent memory and it can eventually affect your performance too. It is important to understand the factors influencing and the causes of why you have problem in retrieving recent memory. Knowing the symptoms of problem in retrieving recent memory can help to understand the problem and seek medical opinion for appropriate treatment.

The symptoms of this condition are basically some common instances which occur when you have problem in retrieving recent memory. Some of the commonest symptoms of short term memory or instances include

  • Misplacing common objects
  • Not retrieving what you read just now
  • Not coming up with right words to say
  • Walking into room without remembering why
  • Occasionally calling people with wrong names.

7 Causes of Problem in Retrieving Recent Memory

While having problem in retrieving recent memory is a concern, it is often a result of some medical conditions of lifestyle issues which need to be understood.

7 common causes that can lead to problem in retrieving recent memory include

  1. Sleep Apnea

    Sleep apnea can be a common cause, if you have problem in retrieving recent memory. It causes your breathing to stop temporarily and more often during your sleep at night. This sleep disorder is associated to dementia and memory loss that cause problem in recalling things that happened recently. People who wake up with headache and have daytime fatigue are likely to have sleep apnea.

    If this condition is not treated, it can affect the spatial navigational memory, which denotes your ability to remember directions or where you placed the common objects. People with this sleep disorder also have lack of oxygen supply to their brain and this supply can be hampered frequently during the night sleep and may make the brain over stressed when they wake up in morning. The injuries caused by this sleep disorder can display a variety of memory loss and you may also have problem in retrieving recent memory.

  2. Silent Stroke

    A silent stroke can block the major blood vessels in brain. After a silent stroke, there are chances of having problem in retrieving recent memory or mild memory loss as the smaller blood vessels in brain get affected adversely. The functions of brain can be affected and changed which can range from severe to mild and it is referred as vascular cognitive impairment. The functioning of brain can be hampered when the flow of blood to brain is blocked or decreased or when the supply of essential nutrients and oxygen to brain is hampered.

    People with silent stroke are at greater risk of having problem in retrieving recent memory and forgetfulness, which can also be the early warning signs of silent stroke.

  3. Medications

    Medications can also be the culprit of why you have problem in retrieving recent memory. There are different types of medications that can affect the memory functions according to FDA. Some of these medications include:

    • Anti-anxiety drugs
    • Sleeping pills
    • Anti-histamines
    • Certain painkillers
    • Anti-depressant
    • Diabetes medications
    • Cholesterol lowering drugs

    Often people take cholesterol lowering and sugar control medicines regularly, which can increase their risk of poor cognitive performance can have problem in retrieving recent memory.

  4. Nutritional Deficiency

    It has been observed that patients lacking in vitamin B12 often complain about confusion and they also vulnerable to have dementia. Vitamin B12 is crucial for normal functioning of nerve in brain. Everyday a person gets around 2.4 micrograms of Vitamin B12 from their regular diet like dairy products, fish, meat and fortified foods and fortified cereals.

    If you experience confusion and have problem in retrieving recent memory, vitamin B12 deficiency can be a possible cause; so seek medical opinion for appropriate supplementation. Ensure including vitamin B12 foods into your diet to promote healthy functioning of the nerves in brain and prevent memory issues.

  5. Stress, Anxiety and Depression

    According to several studies, high level of stress and anxiety can affect attention, concentration and cause problem in retrieving recent memory. This is a common problem among people who juggle with their work and home responsibilities and never take sound sleep at night. However, easing the stress and anxiety level can improve their memory.

    If chronic stress is kept untreated, it can lead to serious depression and can affect the brain functioning. Anxiety, depression and mood disorders must be treated immediately with counseling and medications.

  6. Lifestyle Related Causes

    In many cases, the cause of having problem in retrieving recent memory, can be related to your lifestyle. Apart from poor food choices and unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise, sleep, exposure to toxins, alcohol, too much of stress and sensory overload can cause problem in retrieving recent memory. All the lifestyle habits like high level of stress, lack of sleep and having too much of sugar in diet can affect the brain functioning and short term memory.

    If you have problem in retrieving recent memory, consider changing your lifestyle, make healthier diet choices, get adequate sleep and include regular physical activity to stay healthy.

  7. Other Causes of Having Problem in Retrieving Recent Memory

    Apart from common conditions and lifestyle issues that can cause problem in retrieving recent memory, there are certain other causes, which can affect memory.

    • Infection – Infection around the brain can cause problem in retrieving recent memory according to studies.
    • Head Injury – Some of the symptoms of mild brain injury include trouble with concentration, memory and confusion which can cause problem in retrieving recent memory.
    • Tumors – Brain tumors can also affect the memory and its ability to process information. Treating the tumors in brain with radiation, chemo therapy, and brain surgery can also affect your memory.
    • Alcoholism and Substance Abuses – Drug abuse and alcoholism can affect memory adversely and can be a cause of having problem in retrieving recent memory. People who drink alcohol regularly usually have signs of memory decline one to six years earlier than the light drinkers.

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Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: June 26, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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