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KarayanMD, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 801
Experience:  Board Certified Neurologist with Subspecialty in Clinical Neurophysiology. Private Practice.
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I am a 52 year old female who is uffering from short term memory

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I am a 52 year old female who is uffering from short term memory loss. 2 years ago I had a surgery And the general anesthesia, which lasted for two hours. " Could the general anesthesia cause the short-term memory loss? And what should I take for this problem? The way it is displayed, is when I think of something to do, something else comes to my mind, And when I think about the second thing, and go back to the first thing, I don't remember the first thing at all. Sometimes, I will be going to do what I'm thinking of doing, and by the time I get there which takes a couple of seconds, I forget what I'm supposed to do. I have ginkgo biloba pills extra strength. Should I take them? What is the cause of my short-term memory loss? Thank you.

KarayanMD :

Hi. Thanks for your question.

KarayanMD :

Are you available to chat?

KarayanMD :

I am a board certified neurologist in the U.S.

Thanks for your question. Sorry to hear about your memory problems.


If the memory loss seemed to have started soon after the anesthesia, there is always a chance it could have produced the problem, although in most cases memory loss after anesthesia will go away within a couple months. This is not a very well understood problem.

However, if the memory loss has been progressing over time even after the anesthesia, then it would be worthwhile to look into different causes for memory loss. In many cases, it would be a good idea to check one's vitamin B12 level, thyroid testing, as well as screening for metabolic problems like kidney and liver dysfunction. An evaluation with a neurologist would be a good option to look into ruling out different causes for memory loss. A brain imaging scan like CT or MRI could be an option as there are many possible structural problems with the brain that can produce memory loss.


In regards XXXXX XXXXX if a metabolic or hormonal problem is found, treating that can often improve the memory. Supplements like ginkgo have not been proven to be effective, and are not routinely recommended by most neurologists.


There are a few treatment options for Alzheimer's disease, but these treatments have not been proven effective for other causes of memory loss. Physical and mental exercises are seemingly a good way to help prevent onset of Alzheimer's disease, and it is very important to have a healthy lifestyle also, including not smoking.


So to summarize, please make sure you see a doctor to rule out some of the reversible causes of memory loss I mentioned above. Appropriate treatment will depend on the exact cause of the memory loss, but figuring that out will require evaluation with a full history, examination, and likely a couple further studies.

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