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Memory Errors not Always Signs of Dementia


Memory Errors not Always Signs of Dementia

(epharmanews)- A new research from the University of Michigan suggests that “tip of the tongue” errors happen often to adults ages 65-92.

The study involved 105 elderly healthy and highly-educated people who were asked to complete a checklist of the memory errors made in the last 24 hours, as well as several other tests.  Nearly half of the participants reported making absent-mindedness related errors, such as having to re-read a sentence because they forgot what it said, or forgetting where they placed an item.

"Right now, many training programs focus on the age differences in memory and thinking that we see in laboratory studies," said Cindy Lustig, U-M psychology professor and the study's senior author. "However, those may not translate to the performance failures that are most common in everyday life."

"When we looked at how people performed on standard laboratory tests, we found the usual age differences," she said. "People in their 80s and 90s performed worse than those in their 60s and early 70s."

Young people typically do better than older adults when tested in labs relying solely on their own memories. However, when tested in real-word settings, older adults sometimes do better than young adults at things like remembering appointments because the former are likely to use memory supports such as calendars, lists and alarms.

When an older adult forgets a name it does not necessarily mean that they are experiencing early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, the author warns.

"Everybody forgets," she said. "However, our findings suggest that certain types of memory errors may be especially important to monitor for increases, which then should be discussed with a clinician."

The results of this study, published in the journal Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, could help brain-training programs target the memory problems people experience in daily life.


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Prepared by: Nessrin Biram


Source :

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