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.

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 September 1, 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 September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. 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:
from the past week

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