Beginning and End: Prediction of Cognitive Decline with Memory Tests

I wrote this blurb for fun to “celebrate” our latest accepted article. It includes an interview to myself 🙂

Failure to remember words at the beginning and at the end of a list may signal risk of future cognitive decline and dementia, researchers have found.

In a paper to appear in International Psychogeriatrics, a team of dementia researchers, including from Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Wisconsin – Madison, report that when adults over the age of fifty remember items learned towards the end of a list well, only to forget them after a break, presented a high risk up to 12 years later of mild cognitive impairment, a condition thought to pre-date Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers also observed that failing to remember words presented at the beginning of the list, 15-20 minutes after learning them, led to a similar prediction.

“These findings”, says Dr Davide Bruno from John Moores University, the lead author on the paper, “confirm the importance of using accurate measures of memory ability to screen early on individuals who may be at risk of dementia, particularly for Alzheimer’s disease. The advantage of memory screening”, Dr Bruno adds, “is that it can be done relatively cheaply, but they can still be accurate enough to tell us what may be happening a few years down the line”.

Photo unrelated (by wife).

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About Davide Bruno

Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University
This entry was posted in Aging, Brain Damage, Cognition, Dementia, Memory, Psychology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.