Which “senior moments” are normal and which ones are signs of Alzheimer’s?
New research finds that losing your train of thought or forgetting where you placed your keys may be a fairly benign — albeit annoying — sign of age. But having trouble remembering what happened a few minutes ago, or getting lost in familiar places, may be more serious.
“Getting lost,” in particular, was highly associated with cognitive impairment. Women who reported they had gotten lost in familiar neighborhoods tended to score significantly lower on cognitive tests similar to those used to detect signs of Alzheimer’s. Having trouble keeping up with a group conversation and difficulty following instructions were also strongly associated — though not as highly — with cognitive impairment.
On the other hand, forgetting things from one moment to the next was not associated with any decline in measure of cognitive function.
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