Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early Identification Of Dementia Increasingly Difficult

Date:
May 22, 2009
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
If grandma seems to forget things, will she end up demented? These days, memory loss is one of the very few symptoms that may signal which 70-year-olds risk developing dementia.

If grandma seems to forget things, will she end up demented? These days, memory loss is one of the very few symptoms that may signal which 70-year-olds risk developing dementia. This is shown in a doctoral thesis at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Related Articles


Several of the tests previously used to predict which elderly individuals risk developing dementia do not seem to work any longer. The thesis shows that memory loss is the only factor that can still be used to indicate who is at risk, although not among the very old.

The study compared nondemented 70-year-olds examined in the early 1970s with nondemented 70-year-olds examined in the year 2000. The results show that those who were examined in 2000 scored much higher on psychological tests than those examined 30 years earlier. This finding clearly indicates that such tests can no longer be used to predict future dementia.

"In the early 1970s, several different tests could be used to predict people's risks of developing dementia, but today it seems like psychiatric evaluation of the memory is the only useful test. In addition, it is more difficult to predict dementia the higher the person's level of education," says physician PhD Simona Sacuiu, the author of the thesis.

The follow-up of the 70-year-olds five years later showed that 5% had developed dementia. Those with memory problems showed an increased risk of developing dementia, although not everybody with poor memory developed dementia. Consequently, the link between forgetfulness and future dementia is more complex than commonly thought. Memory loss among elderly individuals may, but doesn't have to be, an early sign."

In order to effectively detect dementia at an early stage, we need a useful tool that includes several types of tests, but the tests need continuous adjustments since the elderly of today perform much better at standardised psychological tests than previous generations," says PhD Sacuiu.

Examinations of a group of nondemented 85-year-olds show that the link between memory problems and dementia is not as clear in this age group. The 85-year-olds' ability to find words, to copy a geometric figure and to take quick decisions were some qualities that were evaluated in a psychiatric assessment. More than 300 individuals participated in the study, of which 17% had developed dementia three years later.

"We can't say that memory loss is the only meaningful sign of future dementia among 85-year-olds, since other symptoms, such as difficulties finding words or drawing a geometric figure, were needed for their risk of developing dementia to increase," says Sacuiu.

The H70 study

H70, short for Health 70, is a unique population study at the Sahlgrenska Academy. The study was started in 1971 with an assessment of 70-year-olds. The individuals were followed up regularly for 30 years. A new H70 study was started in the year 2000. Its participants will be followed up again during 2009 at age 79. The study includes data on over 2000 residents of Gothenburg, Sweden. The participants have been examined both physically and mentally, and have made it possible for several research teams to pinpoint various trends in physical and mental health in the ageing population.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Early Identification Of Dementia Increasingly Difficult." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090517152559.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2009, May 22). Early Identification Of Dementia Increasingly Difficult. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090517152559.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Early Identification Of Dementia Increasingly Difficult." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090517152559.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins