Memory Loss
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Reviewed By:

Benjamin Kummer, MD

Benjamin Kummer, MD (Neurology)

Dr Kummer is Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), with joint appointment in Digital and Technology Partners (DTP) at the Mount Sinai Health System (MSHS) as Director of Clinical Informatics in Neurology. As a triple-board certified practicing stroke neurologist and informaticist, he has successfully improved clinical operations at the point of care by acting as a central liaison between clinical neurology faculty and DTP teams to implement targeted EHR configuration changes and workflows, as well as providing subject matter expertise on health information technology projects across MSHS. | Dr Kummer also has several years’ experience building and implementing several informatics tools, presenting scientific posters, and generating a body of peer-reviewed work in “clinical neuro-informatics” – i.e., the intersection of clinical neurology, digital health, and informatics – much of which is centered on digital/tele-health, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. He has spearheaded the Clinical Neuro-Informatics Center in the Department of Neurology at ISMMS, a new research institute that seeks to establish the field of clinical neuro-informatics and disseminate knowledge to the neurological community on the effects and benefits of clinical informatics tools at the point of care.

Shohei Harase, MD

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

Dr. Harase spent his junior and senior high school years in Finland and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Washington (Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology), he worked for Apple Japan Inc. before entering the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, where he received the Best Resident Award in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, he joined the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, specializing in hyperacute stroke.

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People with similar symptoms also use Ubie's symptom checker to find possible causes

  • Tend to forget words when i am talking (forgetful)

  • Asks the same question over and over again

  • Repeatedly asks the same question

  • Keeps asking the same question

  • Cannot remember answers

  • Forgets the answer

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Content updated on Nov 7, 2023

About the symptom

Forgetfulness is described as a memory lapse or inability to retrieve stored information in the brain that is unexpected or unusual.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Poor memory

Possible causes

  • Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)

    Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is also known as mild or "pre-dementia" in which patients experience forgetfulness or other cognitive problems (such as issues with language or thinking) that do not prevent them from daily functioning. A small proportion of patients have MCI due to depression, medication side effects, sleep disturbances such as sleep apnea, low vitamin B12 levels or low thyroid function. Some controllable risk factors include excessive alcohol intake, high blood pressure, lack of exercise, as well as lack of mental stimulation. Patients with MCI have a high risk for developing dementia, which occurs in about 14% of cases.

  • Transient global amnesia

    Transient global amnesia is the sudden, inability to form new memories that resolves within 24 hours, in the absence of a more common cause such as a stroke or seizure. During an episode, short-term memory is primarily affected. The cause is unknown, but triggers may include exposure to rapid changes in temperature, strenuous physical activity, sexual intercourse, breath-holding, or emotional distress.

  • Alzheimer dementia (AD)

    Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. The brain shrinks, affecting memory and behavior. Symptoms worsen over time and can interfere with daily life. Increasing age raises the risk for Alzheimer dementia.

  • Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (AIDS-related PML)
  • CADASIL / CARASIL
  • Progressive subcortical vascular encephalopathy
  • Depression

  • Hydrocephalus
  • Adjustment disorder

Related serious diseases

  • Cerebral infarction

    Cerebral infarction refers to damage to brain tissue resulting from a stroke. It occurs due to decreased blood supply and oxygen delivery to the brain, causing brain cell death and brain damage. It is typically caused by a blood clot or fatty/cholesterol plaques blocking a blood vessel to the brain, but can also occur if a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain.

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Have you been forgetful lately?

  • Are you feeling down lately?

  • Do you have a fever?

  • Do you struggle to focus or feel less aware of your surroundings?

  • Do you have headaches or a heavy feeling in your head?

Other Related Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints

References

  • Cooper C, Bebbington P, Lindesay J, Meltzer H, McManus S, Jenkins R, Livingston G. The meaning of reporting forgetfulness: a cross-sectional study of adults in the English 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey. Age Ageing. 2011 Nov;40(6):711-7. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afr121. Epub 2011 Sep 6. PMID: 21896556.

    https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/40/6/711/47265

  • Kirshner HS, Gifford KA. Intellectual and memory impairments. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 7.

  • Oyebode F. Disturbance of memory. In: Oyebode F, ed. Sims' Symptoms in the Mind: Textbook of Descriptive Psychopathology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 5.

Reviewed By:

Benjamin Kummer, MD

Benjamin Kummer, MD (Neurology)

Dr Kummer is Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), with joint appointment in Digital and Technology Partners (DTP) at the Mount Sinai Health System (MSHS) as Director of Clinical Informatics in Neurology. As a triple-board certified practicing stroke neurologist and informaticist, he has successfully improved clinical operations at the point of care by acting as a central liaison between clinical neurology faculty and DTP teams to implement targeted EHR configuration changes and workflows, as well as providing subject matter expertise on health information technology projects across MSHS. | Dr Kummer also has several years’ experience building and implementing several informatics tools, presenting scientific posters, and generating a body of peer-reviewed work in “clinical neuro-informatics” – i.e., the intersection of clinical neurology, digital health, and informatics – much of which is centered on digital/tele-health, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. He has spearheaded the Clinical Neuro-Informatics Center in the Department of Neurology at ISMMS, a new research institute that seeks to establish the field of clinical neuro-informatics and disseminate knowledge to the neurological community on the effects and benefits of clinical informatics tools at the point of care.

Shohei Harase, MD

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

Dr. Harase spent his junior and senior high school years in Finland and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Washington (Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology), he worked for Apple Japan Inc. before entering the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, where he received the Best Resident Award in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, he joined the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, specializing in hyperacute stroke.

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