There are many ideas and theories about memory loss and forgetfulness but the most common ones are: it is a sign of aging, a result of substance abuse, or a symptom or condition of Alzheimer’s disease. What people do not usually know is that memory loss or forgetfulness can be side effects of common prescription drugs?

Memory loss is a common fact of life, and by all means, is inevitable when you get older, says a geriatric expert. But, recent studies show that the brain still generates new cells as people get older.

So, if you find yourself getting more forgetful these days – and you’re still haven’t reached forty years of age – check if you’re a regular consumer of any of these kinds of drugs:

Sleeping pills

Many people who take prescription sleeping pills often report episodes of memory loss. One of the more controversial episodes would be what we call “Ambien amnesia” or “Ambien blackout”. This is so-called because patients who take the sleeping pill Ambien would perform weird behavior in their sleep with no remembrance of it the following day.

EEG scans of patients who took Ambien definitely show different brainwave patterns compared to normal people, with tests showing their brain were working as if they were drunk, in a coma or were unconscious – but not as if they were actually asleep.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs

Statin drugs lower cholesterol but it also increases the risk of memory loss by almost 400%. The same process also may help your heart damage your brain. The reason for this is because one-fourth of your brain is composed of cholesterol. And the cholesterol you use for the production of several neurotransmitters are the same ones you need for learning and memory.

Anticholinergics

These drugs known as “anti drugs”, such as antibiotics, antihistamines, antihypertensives, and antipsychotics affect the levels of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter linked to learning and memory. Scientists noticed that people with low acetylcholine levels have difficulty concentrating or finding the correct word. Moreover, deficiencies in this neurotransmitter are associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia – and the medications for these two prevent the production of acetylcholine in the brain.

The effect of acetylcholine deficiency among geriatric people is more severe than younger ones. People who take anticholinergic drugs increase their risk of developing dementia by around 30%, conservatively.

Antidepressant Drugs (Tricyclic antidepressants)

Tricyclic antidepressants primarily treat depression but is also used for a slew of other psychological disorders, such as chronic pain, eating disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorder. More than one-third of adults taking this kind of medication report memory loss, trouble concentrating, etc.

The drug Venlafaxine (Effexor) are thought by some to have the least adverse effect on memory.

Natural Alternatives that Can Help in Memory Loss

  • Ashwagandha — Stress is one important factor for the onset of memory loss. People who are very stressed discover they do not remember things correctly or at all. Ashwagandha helps in the prevention of the deterioration of brain cells by helping you cope with stress naturally.
  • Gotu kola — Normally administered as a tonic and is extremely known among traditional healers as one of the best brain boosters. The herb improves blood circulation and supports memory function.
  • Ginseng — This herb is known for improving overall mental function, as well as being an “adaptogen”, meaning it helps boost your immune system.

So, do you have other natural remedies for memory loss? Share in the comments below.