Saturday, March 13, 2010

Neuropsychology Abstract of the Day: Subjective Memory Complaints

Elfgren C, Gustafson L, Vestberg S, & Passant U. Subjective memory complaints, neuropsychological performance and psychiatric variables in memory clinic attendees: A 3-year follow-up study. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics. 2010 Mar 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Department of Geriatric Psychiatry, Clinical Sciences, Lund University Hospital, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden.

The aims were to evaluate the cognitive performance and clinical diagnosis in patients (<75 years) seeking help for subjective memory complaints, to determine the prevalence of certain psychiatric symptoms and to conduct follow-up examinations. At baseline 41% showed normal cognitive performance (subjective memory impairment; SMI), 37% fulfilled criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 22% were classified as dementia. There were significant associations between the three groups and experiences of psychosocial stress and feelings of anxiety. The proportion of psychosocial stress was significantly higher in SMI vs. MCI and SMI vs. dementia. Feelings of anxiety were significantly higher in SMI vs. MCI. At the 3-year follow-up, 88% of the SMI patients remained stable SMI and 60% of the MCI patients remained stable. There was a significant reduction of psychosocial stress and moderate reduction of feelings of anxiety among the SMI patients. The findings indicate that the risk of patients with SMI developing dementia is small within a 3-year span. We propose that subjective memory complaints might be influenced by the presence of psychosocial stress and feelings of anxiety disturbing the memory processes and interfering with the patients' evaluation of their memory function. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 20211500 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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