Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Some memory complaints in the elderly may be warning signs of cognitive problems

Date:
September 19, 2011
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Older individuals' complaints about memory lapses such as having trouble remembering recent events may indicate that they are experiencing cognitive problems that are greater than typical age-related changes. These findings indicate that primary care clinicians, who are often the first to see patients who are worried about their memory, should be aware that such complaints might be indicative of something serious and warrant a further cognitive assessment.

Older individuals' complaints about memory lapses such as having trouble remembering recent events may indicate that they are experiencing cognitive problems that are greater than typical age-related changes. These findings, which are published September 15 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, indicate that primary care clinicians, who are often the first to see patients who are worried about their memory, should be aware that such complaints might be indicative of something serious and warrant a further cognitive assessment.

Related Articles


Because the number of U.S. adults aged 65 years and older is projected to nearly double over the next two decades, the incidence of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias is also expected to rise. In response, clinicians are incorporating cognitive screening tests as part of annual wellness visits for older people, and researchers are looking for simple ways to identify older individuals who may benefit from additional cognitive evaluations.

To see if certain memory complaints might be linked with potentially serious problems related to memory and thinking, investigators telephoned 16,964 older women (average age of 74 years) and asked them seven questions related to memory complaints, followed by various questions that assessed cognitive function.

Investigators found that, in general, the more memory complaints older individuals have, the worse off their cognitive functioning is. However, not all complaints are related to cognitive decline. For example, a "yes" answer to the question "Do you have much more trouble remembering things from one second to the next?" did not relate to cognitive impairment but was associated with normal aging. By contrast, a "yes" to the question "Do you have trouble finding your way around familiar streets?" was highly associated with cognitive impairment.

"These findings suggest that clinicians may need to differentiate between the types of memory complaints their patients have, as some are likely due to normal aging whereas others are worrisome for possible cognitive decline," said Dr. Rebecca Amariglio of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, one of the study authors.

This will be particularly important as the incidence of Alzheimer's disease increases and therapies for the disease become available.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rebecca England Amariglio, Mary K. Townsend, Francine Grodstein, Reisa A. Sperling, Dorene M. Rentz. Specific Subjective Memory Complaints in Older Persons May Indicate Poor Cognitive Function. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03543.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Some memory complaints in the elderly may be warning signs of cognitive problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110915083727.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, September 19). Some memory complaints in the elderly may be warning signs of cognitive problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110915083727.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Some memory complaints in the elderly may be warning signs of cognitive problems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110915083727.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. 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