COPD and memory problems

I was recently diagnosed as having COPD although when my new family doctor checked my records, he said I had been living with this for around 8 years at least.

However I had pneumonia in 2001 and was in hospital, after which I had very bad memory problems, which are with me these days.


After the Pnuemonia I has one chest infection after another and it drive me mad at times.

Does anyone know if things like Pnuemonia and COPD can cause memory problems as there is very little written about this subject in the UK.

8 Replies

  • No idea

  • i dont know but i get the memory thing i put it down to having to much on my mind and bad concentration perhaps you are worrying xx

  • Not as far as I can remember...ha!

    Seriously, not heard it mentioned in relation to either. But sedation can cause short term memory loss. Afaik not a lasting effect, tho'.

  • Before I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis and bronchiectasis I become convinced that I had early onset dementia. I spoke about my concerns to my pulmonary physio and he was convinced that this terrible short temr memory loss I was having was due to breathlessness and over-breathing. He called it a fog. Since rehab and the meds I am on I don't experience it much but it does go occasionally if I have been stressed/breathless.


  • Thank you, I thought it was worth asking about, because someone else has also had the problem. But perhaps it's unrelated

  • When I was at the BLF study day at Haydock last year, some literature stated that memory problems can be caused through lack of oxygen, and can happen whether you are at moderate or severe level of condition. It reassured me as I had been forgetting some important things. Now I make sure my husband knows about the important things too, so that he can remind me.

  • I have COPD severe and mild Emphysema and spent 3 weeks in intensive care before Xmas with Pneumonia. I have been putting poor memory down to age, I am 69 next month. My wife asked the consultant abut damage to the brain he assured her that I wold not be effected by the experience.

  • I was told the lack of oxygen to my brain can cause memory loss. I don't remember who said this to me, so don't take it as gospel. I get myself into all sorts of trouble due to forgetting stuff. I personally think it will be a mixture of the stress of having this awful disease and getting a bit older and not being as active as well as the lack of the oxygen. Try not to let it get you down.

    Take care.

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