DO SELF-REPORTED MEMORY COMPLAINTS PREDICT DEMENTIA?
About half of people aged 60 to 80 report subjective memory complaints. In the past, it was thought that depression was the cause. More recent studies, including one published in Neurology October 7, 2014, show that these patients have almost 3 times the risk of progressing to dementia but that the conversion occurred about 10 years later. Conversion was more rapid in smokers and slower in women taking hormone replacement.
The take-home message is that subjective memory complaints are common among older adults and are often prognostic of future cognitive impairment. However, they are not cause for immediate alarm, because impairments could be many years away or preempted by death.
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