It is not uncommon to lose or forget things every now and then. This may happen more often as we grow older. If memory problems often get in the way of every day living, it may be time to get more information or see a doctor.

Memory loss may be caused by things other than aging, such as Alzheimer's disease, related dementias, other illnesses such as depression or alcoholism, strokes, head injuries or certain drugs.

You may read below about Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and about what you can do to help keep your brain healthy. If you would like to talk with someone about your memory loss questions, please talk with your doctor or call the 24/7 Information Helpline at 1-800-272-3900.

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s (AHLZ-high-merz) disease is a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys a person’s memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate and carry out daily activities. As Alzheimer’s progresses, individuals may also experience changes in personality and behavior, such as anxiety, suspiciousness or agitation, as well as delusions or hallucinations.

Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, new treatments are on the horizon as a result of accelerating insight into the biology of the disease. Research has also shown that effective care and support can improve quality of life for individuals and their caregivers over the course of the disease from diagnosis to the end of life.

Related Dementias

Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 70 percent of cases of dementia. Other disorders that can cause memory loss, confusion and other symptoms associated with dementia are listed below. Read more about related dementias.

Maintain Your Brain

These steps might also reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease or other dementia. Read more about Maintain Your Brain.