Subjective Cognitive Decline (research)

There was an interesting article this week in the New York Times about worldwide research into “subjective cognitive decline” – where an individual believes he/she is suffering from cognitive decline but there is no objective evidence of this.

The article reported that Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers “found that people with more concerns about memory and organizing ability were more likely to have increased levels of amyloid, a key Alzheimer’s-related protein, in their brains.”  

At Mayo Rochester, something similar was seen:  “those who had a concern about their memory in fact had more likelihood of later developing mild cognitive impairment, an early phase of dementia.”

A German researcher, convinced of the existence of “subjective cognitive decline” for years, said that:

“[In] diseases from arthritis to Parkinson’s, people often feel something is wrong before others notice. In most phases of dementia, family members and friends see deficits, but the disease has usually stolen the person’s ability to recognize them. But at the subjective phase, studies suggest family members may miss problems; the person may feel his mind working harder, but he still functions well.”

 The New York Times article says:  “Experts also are not yet suggesting doctors regularly screen people for ‘subjective cognitive decline’ because much more research is needed and no effective dementia treatment now exists.”

Here’s a link to the article:

Looking for Early Signs of Dementia? Ask the Patient
New York Times
By Pam Belluck
Published: July 17, 2013