Vol. 10 nº 3 - Jul/Aug/Set de 2016
Views & Reviews Páginas: 170 a 177

Subjective cognitive decline: The first clinical manifestation of Alzheimer's disease?

Authors Adalberto Studart Neto; Ricardo Nitrini


keywords: subjective cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, biomarkers.

BACKGROUND: Mild cognitive impairment is considered as the first clinical manifestation of Alzheimer's disease (AD), when the individual exhibits below performance on standardized neuropsychological tests. However, some subjects before having a lower performance on cognitive assessments already have a subjective memory complaint.
OBJECTIVE: A review about subjective cognitive decline, the association with AD biomarkers and risk of conversion to dementia.
METHODS: We performed a comprehensive non-systematic review on PubMed. The keywords used in the search were terms related to subjective cognitive decline.
RESULTS: Subjective cognitive decline is characterized by self-experience of deterioration in cognitive performance not detected objectively through formal neuropsychological testing. However, various terms and definitions have been used in the literature and the lack of a widely accepted concept hampers comparison of studies. Epidemiological data have shown that individuals with subjective cognitive decline are at increased risk of progression to AD dementia. In addition, there is evidence that this group has a higher prevalence of positive biomarkers for amyloidosis and neurodegeneration. However, Alzheimer's disease is not the only cause of subjective cognitive decline and various other conditions can be associated with subjective memory complaints, such as psychiatric disorders or normal aging. The features suggestive of a neurodegenerative disorder are: onset of decline within the last five years, age at onset above 60 years, associated concerns about decline and confirmation by an informant.
CONCLUSION: These findings support the idea that subjective cognitive complaints may be an early clinical marker that precedes mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease.


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