Vol. 3 nº 2 - Apr/May/Jun de 2009
Original Article Páginas: 94 a 100

The relation between memory complaints and age in normal aging

Authors Thaís Bento Lima-Silva1, Mônica Sanches Yassuda2


keywords: memory complaints, memory, age, elderly, cognition.

Normal aging can be characterized by a gradual decline in some cognitive functions, such as memory. Memory complaints are common among older adults, and may indicate depression, anxiety, or cognitive decline. Objectives: To investigate the association between memory complaints and age in cognitively unimpaired older adults, and the relationship between memory complaints and memory performance. Methods: Cognitive screening tests as well as memory complaint questionnaires validated for the Brazilian population were used: the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), Memory Complaint Questionnaire (MAC-Q), Memory test of 18 pictures, Forward and Backward Digit Span (WAIS-III). Fifty seven regular members of the SESC social club participated (50 women), having a mean age of 71.4 years, and 4 to 8 years of education - 34 from 4 to 7 years and 23 with 8 years of education. Results: Results revealed no significant association between cognitive complaints and age or cognitive performance. Older participants in this sample did not show worse performance or a higher level of complaints. There was no significant association between age and GDS scores. Conclusions: The studied sample constitutes a particular group of older adults whose participation in activities may be protecting them from cognitive decline, thus highlighting the impact of lifestyle on cognitive performance during the aging process.


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