A multitude of conditions and injuries can contribute to the onset of memory loss in young people. A few of these contributing factors include head injury, brain disorder, vitamin deficiency, alcohol abuse and drug abuse. Sleep disorders may also cause cognitive deficiencies, including memory loss.
Brain injuries attributed to physical abuse, a series of minor accidents and even contact sports tend to cause memory loss in young people. While symptoms may not immediately appear following a trauma, research indicates that repeated, minor incidents of head injury may eventually lead to memory loss. In some, memory loss is short term, but long term memory loss is also possible under such circumstances.
Memory loss in young people is sometimes the result of a brain tumor or a stroke. While most commonly associated with older adults, anyone at any age can experience a stroke. A tumor may also cause a serious brain disorder leading to seizures, personality changes and migraine headaches, in addition to memory loss.
A vitamin deficiency will also cause memory loss in young people. In particular, individuals lacking healthy amounts of vitamin B12 may experience bouts of disorientation, as well as memory loss. Although deficiency is rare, vitamin B6 may also have the same affect on young people.
Environmental factors are frequently to blame for memory loss. For instance, children exposed to too much mercury in the womb may tend to experience cognitive impairments, particularly memory loss and attention disorders. Exposure to lead during childhood may also contribute to memory loss and learning disabilities in children.
Individuals who abuse drugs and alcohol are also at risk for memory impairment. Although an inebriated person may appear to function at some levels, it is common for individuals to experience a lack of recall of events that occurred while intoxicated. These episodes of memory loss in young people are frequently referred to as blackouts and occur as a result of alcohol preventing the brain from forming new memories. Recreational drugs, such as marijuana, have a similar affect on the brain.
Sleep disorders, including insomnia and narcolepsy, may also cause memory impairments. Memory loss in young people is sometimes caused by periods of stress or anxiety, which also tend to inhibit sleep and, therefore, cause the brain to function at a decreased capacity. Normally, this type of memory loss is short term and is easily corrected as stress is relieved and normal sleep patterns are restored.