Clinical Edge

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Memory Complaints Indicate Higher Dementia Risk

Ann Neurol; 2018 Apr; Arvanitakis, et al

Memory complaints are common in older black and white persons, and relate to cognitive decline, dementia risk, and neurodegenerative pathologies, according to a recent study. A total of 4,015 community‐based persons (28% black; 74% women; mean baseline age = 78 years) were enrolled in 1 of 4 longitudinal cohort studies, and another 2,937 in a population‐based cohort. Researchers found:

  • Baseline memory complaints (n=1,310; 33% of 4,015) were associated with lower cognition and faster decline in all domains, during a mean follow‐up of 6 (SD= 2) years.
  • Persons with memory complaints had higher dementia risk and odds of pathologic Alzheimer disease, neocortical Lewy bodies, and other neurodegenerative pathologies.
  • Results for dementia risk were similar among blacks and whites.
  • Among older persons in the population‐based cohort with similar data, the population‐attributable risk for incident dementia due to memory complaints was 14.0% and did not vary between the black and white groups.

Citation:

Arvanitakis Z, Leurgans SE, Fleischman DA, et al. Memory complaints, dementia, and neuropathology in older blacks and whites. Ann Neurol. 2018;83(4):718-726. doi:10.1002/ana.25189.

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