What are the causes of short-term & working memory problems?

Written by josh infiesto
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What are the causes of short-term & working memory problems?
Protect your brain by seeing a doctor if you start experiencing severe memory problems. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Short-term memory loss is the loss of memory pertaining to the immediate past. It can sometimes be normal; however, persistent short-term memory loss is associated with Alzheimer's, Dementia and other serious mental conditions. If you're experiencing persistent short-term memory loss, you should seek help from a qualified physician or psychiatrist.


The consumption of a variety of proteins and fats is crucial in maintaining peak memory performance. The human brain converts various fats and proteins into neurotransmitters that affect the performance of memory. Eating a variety of proteins is important, as the variety is necessary for the brain to produce different neurotransmitters.


Stress can impair cognitive and memory function. Both too little and too much stress can have negative effects on memory performance. Too much stress is thought to deplete chemical reserves in the brain while too little stress is thought to decrease circulation to the brain. Diet can combat the effects of stress to some degree, however, very high stress levels can deplete the brains resources faster than they can be replaced by diet.


Toxins from the environment can affect memory performance as well. Heavy metals such as mercury and lead can have adverse effects on memory. They're also poisonous. Certain medications can impair cognitive performance, although the effect of medications is often dependent on individual brain chemistry.

Age and Mental Illness

The brain naturally begins to lose brain cells as we age. This can result in impaired memory. The brain's ability to regenerate itself also decreases, as the ability to completely digest food becomes impaired as we age. Mental illness also tends to strike as we age. Alzheimer's disease and Dementia can cause both short-term and long-term memory loss.

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