I have had OCD for 25 years & I am 50 years old. My main concern at the moment is the memory loss that I am too having. It's frustrating & embarrassing. I have thought many times about getting it checked out. I think it is because my brain is on overload every waking moment. Not only has my OCD in some ways gotten worse as I age, but now the memory loss puts the icing on the cake. And yes, my compulsion is primarily fear of germs.
Dr. Michael Jenike said:
yes, you certainly should be evaluated for the memory issues. short term memory issues warrant a medical and neurological workup. Mass General Hospital has a great Memory Disorders Clinic. i would think most such hospitals would have such a clinic. there is not a specific type of OCD that is associated with memory loss; in fact, i don't think any kind of OCD predisposes to memory loss and i don't see much memory loss in OCD patients. sometimes people obsess about their memory and it can appear like they are having problems. one thing to consider is the effect of medications you may be taking. Anafranil/clomipramine has a lot of anticholinergic effects and the cholinergic system is involved in memory so anything that gets in the way of that system can produce memory loss. there are many other medical drugs that can interfere and all these effects are additive. you should have your doctor go over your medications with memory loss in mind.
in terms of drugs for OCD, you might consider Namenda. this has been helpful when added to a SSRI drug in some OCD patients. it just so happens that the primary use of this drug is as a memory enhancer so you might get a double benefit. you can Google “OCD & Namenda” and get some articles to take to your doctor or email me at email@example.com and i will email them to you.
all best wishes,
Michael Jenike, MD
Dear Doctor Jeinke,
Thank you for having this Forum!
So you are saying that there is no direct correlation between OCD and Memory Loss? I always thought they went hand-in-hand, no?