Unawareness of Memory Loss Precedes Dementia

People who develop dementia may begin to become unaware that they have memory problems two to three years beforehand, according to a study from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Researchers analyzed 2,092 participants with no signs of memory impairment at the beginning of the study and an average age of 76.  Participants were tested each year for more than 10 years to assess their cognitive abilities and memory.

The findings, published in Neurology, revealed that a total of 239 participants were diagnosed with dementia during the study follow-up period.  Researchers observed that memory awareness declined abruptly an average of 2.6 years prior to the onset of dementia. While all of the dementia participants showed a lack of awareness of their memory problems, researchers were surprised to find that that decline occurred earlier in younger participants compared with older people.

This study highlights the need for family members to work with a doctor to assess a person’s risk for dementia since the patient may not be able to reliably provide accurate symptom and health reports.

_This Week's Slice of History: _Taking on DDT: Aug. 29, 1962

Sourced from: Medical News Today, Declining awareness of memory loss precedes dementia