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Are There Different Types of Memory Loss?

older male with cane sitting on bed lost in thought as he contemplates are there different types of memory loss

Memory loss is a common symptom of aging, but various medical conditions can also cause it. Memory loss can range from forgetting simple everyday tasks to more serious cases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. While memory loss is often associated with old age, it can affect people of all ages and genders.

Buckner Calder Woods is a senior living community specializing in providing memory care services for individuals experiencing different types of memory loss. The program is designed to cater to each resident’s unique needs, whether it is dementia, short-term memory loss, or any other form of memory loss. To learn more about our memory care program, reach out to our team of experts today at 409.407.7636.

Types of Memory Loss

Memory loss can be classified into different types based on the duration, severity, and symptoms of the condition. Some commonly known types of memory loss are dementia, short-term memory loss, and long-term memory loss.


One of the most severe types of memory loss is dementia. Dementia affects critical brain function, causing cognitive decline and impaired memory. It is a progressive condition that leads to confusion, disorientation, and forgetfulness over time. Dementia can also cause difficulty in completing everyday tasks and can lead to personality changes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and affects millions worldwide.

Short-Term Memory Loss

Short-term memory loss is another type of memory loss that can cause a person to forget things they have just experienced or learned. Short-term memory holds information only for a brief time before being replaced by new data. Therefore, a person with short-term memory loss may have difficulty retaining new information. It can be caused by various factors such as head injuries, alcohol, and drug abuse, Alzheimer’s disease, and/or stroke.

Long-Term Memory Loss

Long-term memory loss is a type of memory loss that affects a person’s ability to recall information from the past. This type of memory loss can be temporary or permanent and can be caused by various factors such as brain injuries, tumors, infections, and aging. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can also cause long-term memory loss by affecting the individual’s ability to process memories of traumatic events.

Other types of memory loss include the following:

  • Selective memory loss—where a person forgets specific events
  • Transient global amnesia—where a person suddenly loses their memory temporarily for several hours or days

Some medications, including antidepressants and antihistamines, can also cause memory loss in some people.

What Causes Memory Loss?

You may be wondering what kind of memory loss is normal–and the answer is that some types are, and some are more severe.

Memory loss can occur due to a variety of reasons. Aging is one of the primary causes of memory loss. As we grow older, our brain cells shrink, reducing the efficiency of our brain’s communication network. Due to this, we may experience difficulty in forming new memories, recalling stored ones, or multitasking.

Medical conditions such as the following can also cause memory loss:

  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • Huntington’s disease

Dementia is usually associated with progressive memory loss, while conditions such as Parkinson’s disease primarily affect motor control. Accidents or injuries to the head can also cause memory loss, especially if there is damage to the areas of the brain responsible for memory.

Environmental factors such as excessive alcohol consumption or drug abuse can also cause memory loss. Studies indicate that alcohol can damage nerve cells in the brain, leading to memory loss, while the effects of drug abuse on the brain can be permanent. Stress or trauma can also lead to temporary memory loss or difficulty in concentrating.

Caring For Individuals With Memory Loss At Buckner Calder Woods

Memory loss can take many forms and may be caused by a variety of factors. While dementia is the most common cause of memory loss in older adults, other types, such as short-term or transient global amnesia, can also significantly impact an individual’s life. It’s essential to have regular checkups with your doctor if you believe you may be experiencing signs of memory loss so they can properly diagnose any underlying conditions or causes. With early detection and treatment, it may be possible to slow down or even reverse some symptoms associated with different types of memory loss.

For more information, reach out to our team of experts today at 409.407.7636 or contact us online.