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The nature of cognitive complaints in healthy older adults with and without objective memory decline.
Cognitive and memory complaints were assessed in 100 healthy older adults on two occasions over 2.5 years as part of a 6-year study assessing cognition, mood, and general health factors. Diminished memory for names and actions and lapses in concentration were common complaints, regardless of the individuals' actual cognitive status. No change in cognitive complaints occurred over time, even for individuals whose memory had declined over 6 years. Cognitive complaints correlated with anxiety, depression, and general mental health but not with objectively measured memory or cognition, education or age. Complaints did not differ with gender, apolipoprotein E epsilon4 genotype, cardiovascular risk factors, or intake of sedating medications. Thus, cognitive complaints could not differentiate memory-declining older adults from cognitively normal older adults and were more closely associated with mood and general mental health than actual cognitive status, age, or potential risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. Thus, the evaluation of cognitive complaints must be broad and must consider the correspondence of complaints not only to relevant measurable cognitive abilities but also to the affect of the individual.
Authors, , ,
Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't