Vol. 15 nº 1 - Jan/Feb/Mar de 2021
Original Article Páginas: 88 a 97

Memory complaints at primary care in a middle-income country: clinical and neuropsychological characterization

Authors Marcos Leandro Pereira1,2; Thiago Henrique Ferreira de Vasconcelos3; Amanda Aparecida Rocha de Oliveira2; Sarah Bárbara Campagnolo2; Sarah de Oliveira Figueiredo2; Ana Flávia Bereta Coelho Guimarães2; Maira Tonidandel Barbosa4; Luís Felipe José Ravic de Miranda4; Paulo Caramelli1,4; Leonardo Cruz de Souza1,4


keywords: memory, primary health care, cognitive dysfunction, dementia.

There are different causes of memory complaints in the elderly, such as subjective cognitive decline (SCD), mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia.
OBJECTIVE: 1) To characterize individuals with memory complaints in a mid-sized city in Brazil, through clinical, cognitive and functional assessment; 2) to compare SCD individuals with MCI and dementia patients in terms of clinical and cognitive variables.
METHODS: We consecutively included individuals aged ≥50 years, with memory complaints (spontaneous or inquired). Subjects who scored ≥25 on the Memory Complaint Questionnaire or who had spontaneous memory complaints were selected. Participants underwent a semi-structured interview, the Mini-Mental State Examination, Figure Memory Test for visual episodic memory, Clock Drawing Test, Category Fluency (Animals), Neuropsychiatric Inventory, and functional assessment. Individuals were classified as SCD, MCI or dementia. We did not include individuals with previous diagnosis of dementia.
RESULTS: The final sample consisted of 91 subjects (73.6% women; mean age 67.6±9.8 years): 14.3% had spontaneous complaints and 85.7% had inquired complaints. The most common comorbidities were hypertension (69.2%), diabetes (36.3%), and dyslipidemia (24.2%). Low levels of vitamin B12 and hypothyroidism were found in 26.4 and 16.5%, respectively. Regarding cognitive diagnosis, 16.5% of the sample were classified as SCD, 49.4% as MCI and 34.1% as dementia. MCI and dementia were identified in five (38.5%) and seven (53.4%) patients with spontaneous complaint, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: MCI and dementia are frequently underdiagnosed. Potential reversible causes of cognitive decline are common. The diagnosis of dementia is highly frequent among individuals with spontaneous memory complaints.


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