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Memory problems 'may indicate cognitive illness'

Memory problems 'may indicate cognitive illness'
15th September 2011

Memory issues in older adults using home care could be warning signs of cognitive problems, according to new research.

A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society revealed that memory lapses such as difficulty remembering recent events could be an indication of cognitive problems that are more than typical age-related changes.

This indicates that those caring for older people should be aware that such signs could suggest serious cognitive problems.

Study author Dr Rebecca Amariglio, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, commented: "These findings suggest that clinicians may need to differentiate between the types of memory complaints their patients have, as some are likely due to normal ageing whereas others are worrisome for possible cognitive decline."

This follows comments from Ian Weatherhead, lead nurse for Admiral Nursing Direct, who said that dementia is not an inevitable side effect of ageing.

He suggested that many doctors are failing to diagnose the condition in older patients as they believe little can be done.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes