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Int J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;2012:725329. doi: 10.1155/2012/725329. Epub 2012 Mar 24.

Memory complaints associated with seeking clinical care.

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1
Dementia Clinics, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, Avenue Prof. Egas Moniz, 1649-028 Lisbon, Portugal.

Abstract

Diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment relies on the presence of memory complaints. However, memory complaints are very frequent in healthy people. The objective of this study was to determine the severity and type of memory difficulties presented by elderly patients who seek for clinical help, as compared to the memory difficulties reported by subjects in the community. Assessment of subjective memory complaints was done with the subjective memory complaints scale (SMC). The mini-mental state examination was used for general cognitive evaluation and the geriatric depression scale for the assessment of depressive symptoms. Eight-hundred and seventy-one nondemented subjects older than 50 years were included. Participants in the clinical setting had a higher total SMC score (10.3 ± 4.2) than those in the community (5.1 ± 3.0). Item 3 of the SMC, Do you ever forget names of family members or friends? contributed significantly more to the variance of the total SMC score in the clinical sample (18%) as compared to the community sample (11%). Forgetting names of family members or friends plays an important role in subjective memory complaints in the clinical setting. This symptom is possibly perceived as particularly worrisome and likely drives people to seek for clinical help.

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