The meaning of reporting forgetfulness: a cross-sectional study of adults in the English 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey

Posted by: admin on: February 27, 2012

Here is great news! Forgetfulness is not an early sign of dementia. It is mood related and due to anxiety depression and a somatic cause.

Team@CMHF

Objectives: We measured subjective memory impairment (SMI) across the whole adult age range in a representative, national survey. Age is the strongest risk factor for dementia and SMI may be a precursor of objective cognitive impairment.

Method: We analysed data from the English 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, representative of people in private households. Participants were asked whether they had noticed problems with forgetting in the last month, or forgotten anything important in the last week; and completed the modified Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status.

Results: Of those contacted, 7,461 (57%) participated in the study. Reporting forgetfulness was not associated with age. In a multivariate analysis including cognition and age, the only significant associates of reporting forgetfulness were anxiety, depressive and somatic symptoms.

Conclusions: Our hypothesis that subjective forgetfulness prevalence would rise with age in a non-demented population was not supported. Although subjective forgetfulness can be an early symptom of future or mild dementia, it is common and non-specific and—at population level—is more likely to be related to mood than to be an early symptom of dementia. Asking those presenting with subjective forgetfulness additional questions about memory and functional decline and objective forgetfulness is likely to help clinicians to detect those at risk of dementia.

Ref: http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/content/40/6/711.abstract

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