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J Clin Med. 2019 Nov 7;8(11). pii: E1900. doi: 10.3390/jcm8111900.

Memory Complaint Is a Surrogate for Memory Decline in the Middle-Aged: A Register-Based Study.

Wu YY1,2, Hsu WC1,2, Huang YH1,2, Ho WM1,2, Chen YC1,2.

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Department of Neurology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Linkou Medical Center and College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan.
Dementia Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan.


Memory complaint is one of the earliest symptoms of dementia. The causes and prognosis of memory complaint in the middle-aged population remain largely unknown. We reviewed the register-based data of 2129 patients with memory complaints. Among them, 404 participants were between 40 and 65 years old. The participants were separated into three groups: subjective cognitive decline (SCD), neurodegenerative diseases (ND), and non-neurodegenerative diseases (NND). One-year decline was defined as a decrease of ≥1 on the mini-mental state examination (MMSE). At baseline, 131 participants (32%) were diagnosed with SCD, 141 (35%) with ND, and 132 (33%) with NND. The 1-year cognitive decline rate was higher among patients with ND (36.8%) than in the SCD (7.3%, p = 1.3 × 10-8) and NND groups (7.6%, p = 1.1 × 10-7). One-year decline did not differ between the SCD and NND groups. Lower baseline MMSE score predicted increased risk of 1-year cognitive decline (odds ratio (OR) = 1.126, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.076-1.178, p = 2.52 × 10-7). Memory complaint in middle age carried a risk of 1-year cognitive decline, and baseline MMSE is an independent predictor of decline. An initial diagnosis of SCD held the same risk effect for decline as NND. These findings highlighted the necessity for neuropsychological tests in those with memory complaints presenting to the clinic.


mild cognitive impairment; subjective cognitive complaints; young-onset dementia

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