Poor memory adhd

Surprising Facts About ADHD - Tooth Grinding, Poor Memory

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects 3 to 7 percent of school-aged children. And while the number of children who receive an ADHD diagnosis increases every day, there are still many little-known facts out there that most parents don’t know. Understanding all aspects of ADHD is important, because research shows that the childhood disorder can persist into adulthood, and adults with untreated ADHD have higher than average rates of divorce, unemployment, substance abuse, and disability. Check out these five surprising facts about ADHD that can help you better understand your child’s condition:

1. Tooth Grinding Is Linked to ADHD

Turns out your child’s ADHD anxiety doesn’t sleep when your kid does. Research suggests that children with the habit of involuntarily grinding their teeth, known as bruxism, are more likely to develop anxiety, stress and hyperactivity, and bruxism has also been linked to ADHD.

A 2009 study published in Sleep found that teens diagnosed with ADHD earlier in life were more likely to have sleep problems and disorders, such as such as insomnia, sleep terrors, snoring, and bruxism. The study, which involved 281 children between 10 and 17 years old with ADHD and 185 similar children who did not have the condition, revealed these sleep problems occurred regardless of the severity of the teens’ ADHD symptoms.

2. ADHD Is Not a One-Size-Fits-All Diagnosis

There is more than one type of ADHD. In fact, there are three types, and diagnosis depends on the visible ADHD symptoms:

  • Inattentiveness: Includes not listening when spoken to, being easily distracted, having trouble paying attention and organizing activities, and avoiding activities that require focus and concentration.
  • Hyperactivity: Includes fidgeting, excessive and inappropriate running or climbing when it's not appropriate, trouble with quiet play or activities.
  • Impulsivity: Includes having trouble waiting, saying inappropriate things without thinking, or interrupting.

Only some kids with ADHD are hyperactive. Others, particularly girls, may be calm, but have a form of ADHD that makes it harder for them to focus or pay attention. The American Psychiatric Association established guidelines based on these three types to help doctors more accurately diagnose and treat ADHD.

3. ADHD Is Often Mistaken for Other Conditions

A number of other health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and certain types of learning disabilities, have symptoms that are similar to those of ADHD. Other mental disorders, such as mood disorder, personality disorder, or OCD, may also be misdiagnosed as ADHD.

In some cases, children's circumstances may cause them to behave in ways that can be misinterpreted as ADHD. As a result, doctors must determine whether or not a sudden change or stressor in children's lives — such as the death of a family member or divorce — is affecting their behavior.

4. ADHD Is Associated With Short-Term Memory Problems

Although they do not have problems with long-term memories, people with ADHD may have impaired short-term — or working — memory, research shows. As a result, they may have difficulty remembering assignments or completing tasks that require focus or concentration.

A 2012 review published in Clinical Psychology Review found that children with ADHD have statistically significant, large magnitude working memory problems compared to similar children who did not have ADHD.

5. Sugar and TV Do Not Cause ADHD

Although sugar intake, watching too much TV, and a chaotic family life can worsen symptoms of ADHD, research does not show they actually cause the condition. ADHD does, however, appear to run in families. Research involving families, twins, and children who were adopted suggest there is a strong genetic influence in ADHD risk.

There is no quick fix for ADHD. Although medication can help treat people’s symptoms, it's only part of an overall ADHD treatment strategy. Behavior therapy, including help staying organized and making positive choices, also plays a role in managing the condition. Treatment strategies for ADHD must be monitored and adjusted over time, just like medications.

ADHD and Memory Loss: What to Know

Written by Stephanie Langmaid

In this Article

  • ADHD and Memory
  • What Causes Memory Loss?
  • How Can You Tell if It’s ADHD or Something Else?
  • ADHD and Dementia
  • When to See Your Doctor

If you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), forgetfulness is probably something you’ve dealt with your whole life. But maybe your memory problems are starting to feel different. You’re forgetting things more often. You’re losing the thread of conversations or grasping for the right word.

There are a lot of reasons for memory loss. Some of them are serious, some are easy to treat. Here are some ways to tell whether what you’re experiencing is ADHD, or something else.

ADHD and Memory

When you have ADHD, memory problems tend to show up in ways like missing appointments, or forgetting where you put your phone or keys. ADHD affects two different kinds of memory:

Working memory. This is the part of your memory that allows you to turn information you learn into action, for example: remembering instructions long enough to finish a task. Studies show working memory is less effective in children and adults who have ADHD than in those who don’t.

Long-term memory. People with ADHD often don’t do well on tests of long-term memory. But scientists believe that has to do with how they process information. When you have ADHD, distractions may prevent you from taking in information, or your brain may store it in a disorganized way. Memories aren’t lost, they aren’t made in the first place.

What Causes Memory Loss?

If you’re noticing memory problems, your fears may go straight to dementia. But many other things – including normal aging – can cause memory loss. Other causes can include:

  • Mental health issues, including stress, trauma, and depression
  • Lack of sleep or sleep apnea
  • Not enough of certain vitamins, particularly B1 and B12
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications, including:
    • Antidepressants
    • Antihistamines
    • Narcotic pain killers
    • Drugs for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, incontinence, and seizures
  • Menopause
  • Underactive or overactive thyroid

If you can find out and treat the underlying cause, your memory may go back to normal.

More serious conditions can cause memory loss, too, including:

  • Brain injury from an accident, infection, stroke, or tumor
  • Illnesses that involve the brain, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease, and HIV

If you have any of these conditions, talk to your doctor about your memory problems.

How Can You Tell if It’s ADHD or Something Else?

Memory loss can look and feel the same whether it’s a symptom of ADHD or something else. But there are some clues that can help you and your doctor figure out what’s causing it.

When did the problem start?ADHD symptoms start in childhood. If your memory loss is a new problem, it could have a different cause. Most people lose some amount of brain function as a natural part of aging, starting in your 30s and 40s. Your brain’s function shrinks even more by age 60. Your brain goes through physical changes, and brain cells have a harder time communicating. You may learn new information more slowly and have trouble with multitasking.

Dementia usually starts to appear after age 65. Symptoms tend to start slowly and gradually get worse until you’re no longer able to manage your daily life.

Has something changed? ADHD symptoms don’t get worse over time, but they can become more noticeable under certain circumstances. If you’ve just retired, losing the structure of the workday can cause old problems to crop up again, like managing your time and focusing on a task long enough to finish it. The hormone changes of menopause can highlight ADHD symptoms.

Have you recently been through a stressful situation or traumatic event? Did you hit your head in a fall? Did you start a new medication? Identifying changes in your life may point you to the reason for your memory loss.

Do you have other symptoms? If your memory loss has a physical cause, you’re likely to have other issues, too. Do you have headaches? Blurred vision? Muscle weakness or paralysis? Those could mean a problem with your brain, like an injury, blood clot, or tumor. See your doctor or get emergency care, especially if these symptoms come on suddenly.

Thyroid problems can cause low energy and weight gain. A B12 deficiency can cause balance problems.

What kind of things do you forget? With ADHD, you may not remember where your car keys are because you were distracted when you put them down. But with dementia, you may be driving somewhere you’ve been a hundred times, and suddenly get lost.

In the early stages of dementia, your working memory may be fine, but you don’t remember recent events, like a conversation you had earlier in the day.

Normal aging can make it harder for you to learn new things, so you may not recall the name of someone you just met.

ADHD and Dementia

More and more often, older people are going to the doctor because they think they’re developing dementia, only to find out they have ADHD. The learning disorder is believed to be underdiagnosed in adults. The standards used to identify ADHD in kids don’t apply as well to older people. And over time, some people get very good at making up for their processing problems.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is the earliest stage of dementia. It shares many symptoms with ADHD, but there are some important differences.

People with ADHD and people with MCI may both have:

  • Problems with so-called executive functions, like paying attention and processing information
  • Forgetfulness
  • Trouble with impulse control
  • Sleep problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

But the conditions are also different in many ways:

  • Symptoms of ADHD begin in childhood. MCI starts when you’re older.
  • Symptoms of ADHD generally stay the same or become less noticeable in adulthood. MCI gets worse over time.
  • People with ADHD are usually fully aware of their memory problems and can describe their symptoms and notice changes. With dementia, it’s more likely to be a caregiver who first spots the problem.
  • Medications that can improve the brain function of people with MCI don’t work on ADHD. And the stimulants that help with ADHD have no effect on dementia.

There’s some evidence that people with ADHD may be more likely to develop dementia as they age, particularly the disease called Lewy body dementia. People with both disorders share some of the same brain chemistry differences. And some behaviors that are common in people with ADHD, like smoking and drinking too much alcohol, are known to put you at risk for cognitive decline.

But the jury is still out on whether people with ADHD actually get dementia any more often than people without ADHD.

When to See Your Doctor

Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about your memory loss, especially if it’s gone on for some time or if it’s affecting your daily life.

They can do several kinds of tests to try to get to the bottom of it. You may get:

  • Mental status tests, where you’re asked to do things like repeat a list of words, name objects, follow multistep commands and answer questions about the past
  • Neurological tests
  • Imaging tests like an MRI
  • Blood or urine tests

Many causes of memory loss are temporary and treatable. If it turns out your memory issues are a symptom of your ADHD, there are still things you can do. Your doctor may adjust your medication or try a different one. Or you may try behavioral therapy or counseling.

Memory problems in young people

Forgetfulness, impaired attention are attributed to the elderly. However, memory problems are increasingly occurring in young people. The reasons for this phenomenon are varied - from an unhealthy lifestyle and overwork to serious disorders in the functioning of the brain and internal organs.


  • 1. Causes of memory impairment at a young age
  • 2. Associated symptoms
  • 3. How to solve memory problems

Causes of memory impairment at a young age

Memory impairment in older people is usually caused by age-related changes in the body. Atherosclerosis, microstrokes, Alzheimer's disease - these pathologies negatively affect cognitive functions.

The causes of forgetfulness at a young age are different, they can be divided into 4 groups.

  1. Brain lesions.
  2. Diseases of internal organs.
  3. Unfavorable impact of external factors, violation of the daily routine.
  4. Chronic intoxication of the body.

Disturbances in the functioning of the brain - the main cause of memory impairment

The cerebral cortex is responsible for the functioning of long-term memory. The hippocampus, which is located in the temporal lobes, starts the processes of translating short-term information into long-term memory. There are other memory centers in the brain. Therefore, any damage to this organ provokes the development of forgetfulness, inattention.

Causes of memory problems in young people:

  1. Traumatic brain injury. The area affected is irrelevant. After any blow, short-term or long-term memory loss, retrograde or antegrade amnesia is observed.
  2. Stroke. When blood circulation is disturbed, the functions of the memory centers are disrupted.
  3. Malignant and benign neoplasms. Tumors affect nearby tissues, including the memory centers located in them.
  4. Encephalitis, meningitis. The infection negatively affects the functioning of the brain and memory.
  5. Post-surgical asthenic syndrome.

After any injuries and diseases of the brain, it is necessary to be constantly monitored by a neurologist. This will help to timely identify memory impairment and cognitive disorders.

What diseases of the internal organs negatively affect memory

The normal functioning of the brain largely depends on the well-coordinated work of the whole organism. Many dysfunctions can indirectly affect concentration and memory.

The hormonal background influences the memorization process. Testosterone, vasopressin, prolactin, estrogen help convert short-term memory into long-term memory. Oxytocin impairs the memory process.

Main diseases:

  1. Hypertension, other diseases of the cardiovascular system. Provoke a deterioration in the blood supply to the brain.
  2. Violation of exchange processes. When metabolism fails, brain tissue suffers from nutritional deficiencies. Resources are allocated to vital areas, and the memory center is not a priority in this list.
  3. Angiopathy - pathology develops against the background of diabetes mellitus. Vascular walls thicken, small vessels overlap and stop working. Blood circulation is disturbed in all organs, the brain also suffers.
  4. Hypothyroidism - lack of thyroid hormone leads to the development of iodine deficiency.
  5. Mental disorders - schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression.
  6. Cervical osteochondrosis. Deformed vertebrae compress blood vessels, the brain suffers from a lack of oxygen and nutrients.

In diseases of the kidneys, verbal memory deteriorates. Cognitive functions decrease with an increase in creatinine levels, a decrease in glomerular filtration rate. The study was carried out for 5 years by scientists from the United States.

Adverse environmental influences, lifestyle

If young people have memory problems, the causes are often associated with unconscious brain dysfunction. But these causes, unlike diseases, are easier to eliminate. With a change in lifestyle, forgetfulness will gradually disappear.

Causes of memory impairment:

  1. Information overload. The human brain freezes if it is not able to process all the information received. The principle of multitasking has already been recognized as ineffective, since it leads to a deterioration in memory capabilities, attentiveness, and nervous disorders.
  2. Avitaminosis. For the normal functioning of the brain, it is necessary to constantly replenish the reserves of B vitamins. These substances protect cells from aging and overload, participate in oxygen metabolism and the synthesis of certain neurotransmitters, and ensure the normal functioning of the central nervous system.
  3. Stress, nervous and emotional overwork. Under such conditions, the physiological processes associated with memory are blocked. With prolonged stress, information is not remembered at all.
  4. Chronic sleep deprivation. During sleep, new cells are synthesized. If a person constantly does not get enough sleep, the brain does not have time to recover, the process of memorizing and reproducing information is disrupted.
  5. Abuse of junk food. Foods with food coloring contain aluminum. The substance accumulates in the body, is poorly excreted. The result is a deterioration in memory, thinking, attention.
  6. Caffeinated drinks. Constant stimulation of the brain leads to a decrease in memory.
  7. Poisoning with lead, mercury, other heavy metals.
  8. Long-term and uncontrolled use of tranquilizers, sedatives and antihistamines, neuroleptics. Anticholinergics, antidepressants, barbiturates negatively affect brain function.

Smoking destroys the brain. Heavy smokers suffer from memory problems, the ability to perceive new information, logical thinking is deteriorating. Equally dangerous active and passive smoking, memory performance is reduced by 25-30%.

Daily consumption of 36 g of pure alcohol leads to early memory impairment. But the complete rejection of alcohol negatively affects the functioning of the brain. It is safe to consume up to 4 glasses of dry red wine per week.

Drugs are neurotoxic substances that disrupt the process of receiving, processing and sending information. Even with a single use, irreversible damage often occurs in the serotonin system of the brain.

Associated symptoms

Forgetfulness, inability to remember and reproduce information are not the only signs of poor memory.

What symptoms should you see a doctor for?

  • lapses in memory - large or small fragments from the past are forgotten;
  • the line between past and present is lost;
  • troubled by false memories, frequent bouts of deja vu;
  • problems with short-term memory, a person cannot remember where he was going, find the right thing;
  • difficulty concentrating, formulating thoughts, because one cannot remember the right word;
  • people often repeat themselves, confuse days of the week for months;
  • increased anxiety due to the fact that it is impossible to remember whether he closed the door, turned off the iron, water.
  • Often, memory problems are accompanied by migraine attacks, tinnitus, hearing and vision impairment, heart rhythm disturbance, and chronic fatigue.

    How to deal with memory problems

    If memory often fails, it is necessary to visit a neurologist. After examination, history taking and primary diagnosis, consultation with a general practitioner, neuropsychologist, psychotherapist, oncologist may be required.

    Neuromonitoring begins with an assessment of the neurological status. The doctor checks the work of the cranial nerves, determines the amplitude of the movement of the eyeballs, the symmetry of the tongue and dental grin, evaluates facial and voluntary movements.

    Assesses hearing, vision, smell, reflexes, speech. To diagnose memory disorders, tests are used that show the ability to remember and reproduce new information. To detect cognitive impairment, the doctor prescribes a general and biochemical blood test, a study of cerebrospinal fluid, EEG, MRI and CT of the brain. Based on the results of the diagnosis, treatment methods and drugs are selected.


    Memory needs to be trained daily. Exercises according to the method of Lawrence Katz will help improve brain function.

    How to avoid memory problems:

    1. Perform habitual activities with your eyes closed, walk in the dark.
    2. Combing, brushing teeth with non-dominant hand. Right-handed left, left-handed right.
    3. Learn poems, foreign languages, solve crossword puzzles and logic problems, play chess.
    4. Limit the time of watching TV, working at the computer.
    5. Increase stress resistance - yoga, meditation, regular physical activity have a positive effect on the psycho-emotional state.
    6. Eat right, refuse fatty and salty foods, sweets.
    7. Timely vaccinate, treat viral and bacterial diseases, strengthen the immune system.
    8. Observe the drinking regimen. The brain is 70-80% water, so it reacts sharply to the slightest dehydration. The optimal volume in the absence of contraindications is 1.5-2 liters of pure water per day.

    Memory problems do not always indicate serious illnesses at a young age. Try to have a good rest, sleep, not be nervous, get rid of bad habits. Include foods high in vitamin B in your diet, and remember to drink plenty of water. If no improvement is observed, consult a specialist, do not select drugs for treatment on your own.

    Memory impairment - ProMedicina Ufa

    Memory impairment is a disease that has its own symptoms and treatments. And the cause of memory problems is usually the aging of the body, which provokes "benign senile forgetfulness." Nowadays, however, even very young people complain of memory impairment.


    Causes of memory impairment can be directly related to brain damage. These include such lesions as traumatic brain injury, stroke, brain cancer.

    Deterioration of the brain may be due to diseases of other organs and organ systems.

    Memory can be affected by external unfavorable factors, such as lack of sleep, stressful situations, abrupt changes in living conditions, increased stress on the brain, including memory.

    Abuse of alcohol, drugs (especially tranquilizers, sedatives), smoking, drug addiction lead to memory deterioration.

    Memory may also decrease due to age-related changes in the brain.

    A person takes memory for granted until he encounters the problem of forgetfulness. There are many types of memory impairment, and many factors influence this process.


    Doctors define memory impairment as a problem when you cannot remember what happened to you yesterday, a few days or weeks ago, but you can tell in detail about the events of last year, or even several years ago.

    It is also considered an alarming symptom that a person is not able to fix in memory the information that he receives directly here and now.

    Even in the elderly, a sharp memory impairment, which is accompanied by the "loss" of entire time periods, is not the norm. Despite the fact that the body really "wears out" over time, which also affects the processes of receiving and transmitting information, but a sharp and progressive deterioration in memory can be a sign of the onset of Alzheimer's disease. In this case, you can not do without the qualified help of a specialist. Modern drugs can support the brain's ability to remember, but they cannot cope with the disease itself, therefore, treatment should be started as early as possible to alleviate its symptoms.


    If symptoms are detected, it is initially recommended to undergo an examination by a neurologist, including, if necessary, additional diagnostics: MRI of the brain, duplex scanning of the brachiocephalic arteries, examination of cerebrospinal fluid, fundus, PET, etc. To rule out somatic causes of memory impairment laboratory tests, ECG, ultrasound of internal organs are required.


    Relax, improve lifestyle (diet, sleep and rest, give up bad habits), if there are no contraindications, drink a vitamin-mineral complex for at least 2 months, in areas of iodine deficiency - additionally drink a course of iodine preparation.

    Today, pharmaceutical companies offer modern means to combat memory impairment caused by age-related changes, overwork and lack of essential substances in the human body. These preparations are usually capsules, tablets or mixtures and are dietary supplements. In other cases, when more radical intervention is required, potent drugs are prescribed only by prescription.

    It is possible to use physiotherapeutic methods, for example, electrophoresis with intranasal (through the nose) administration of glutamic acid preparations.

    Psychological and pedagogical correction is also successfully used to help patients with memory impairment. With the help of a teacher, the patient learns to memorize using other brain functions instead of the affected ones. For example, if a person cannot remember words spoken aloud, then by presenting a visual image that means the same word, memorization is possible. It is hard, long, painstaking work. It is necessary not only to learn to memorize with the help of other connections in the brain, but also to bring this process to automatism.

    Learn more