Memory Complaints in Older Adults: Fact or Fiction?

Cathy Bonaccorsy, Margit L. Bleecker, Karen I Bolla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Complaints of poor memory by patients may be an early symptom of a pathologic process like Alzheimer's disease. It is therefore important to determine if patients' complaints of memory impairments are an accurate reflection of real memory disturbance. The relationship between memory complaints (metamemory) and objective memory performance, mood, age, verbal intelligence, and sex was examined in a group of 199 healthy, community dwelling adults (39 to 89 years old). Memory complaints demonstrated a stronger association with depressed mood than with performance on memory tests. Increasing reports of depressive symptoms were associated with more overall memory complaints. Verbal intelligence, age, and sex also contributed to memory complaints. Patients with higher verbal intelligence reported fewer complaints and placed less emphasis on forgetting. Older individuals reported greater frequency of forgetting and greater frequency of using memory techniques. Specific types of memory complaints, seriousness of forgetting, and types of memory aids employed are also described. These results showed that self-rating of memory disturbance by older adults may be related more to depressed mood than to poor performance on memory tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-64
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Neurology
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1991

Fingerprint

Intelligence
Complaints
Fiction
Independent Living
Pathologic Processes
Alzheimer Disease
Depression
Mood
Forgetting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Memory Complaints in Older Adults : Fact or Fiction? / Bonaccorsy, Cathy; Bleecker, Margit L.; Bolla, Karen I.

In: Archives of Neurology, Vol. 48, No. 1, 1991, p. 61-64.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bonaccorsy, Cathy ; Bleecker, Margit L. ; Bolla, Karen I. / Memory Complaints in Older Adults : Fact or Fiction?. In: Archives of Neurology. 1991 ; Vol. 48, No. 1. pp. 61-64.
@article{af9e0d76507444d1af4490f57f35e6ea,
title = "Memory Complaints in Older Adults: Fact or Fiction?",
abstract = "Complaints of poor memory by patients may be an early symptom of a pathologic process like Alzheimer's disease. It is therefore important to determine if patients' complaints of memory impairments are an accurate reflection of real memory disturbance. The relationship between memory complaints (metamemory) and objective memory performance, mood, age, verbal intelligence, and sex was examined in a group of 199 healthy, community dwelling adults (39 to 89 years old). Memory complaints demonstrated a stronger association with depressed mood than with performance on memory tests. Increasing reports of depressive symptoms were associated with more overall memory complaints. Verbal intelligence, age, and sex also contributed to memory complaints. Patients with higher verbal intelligence reported fewer complaints and placed less emphasis on forgetting. Older individuals reported greater frequency of forgetting and greater frequency of using memory techniques. Specific types of memory complaints, seriousness of forgetting, and types of memory aids employed are also described. These results showed that self-rating of memory disturbance by older adults may be related more to depressed mood than to poor performance on memory tests.",
author = "Cathy Bonaccorsy and Bleecker, {Margit L.} and Bolla, {Karen I}",
year = "1991",
doi = "10.1001/archneur.1991.00530130069022",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "48",
pages = "61--64",
journal = "Archives of Neurology",
issn = "0003-9942",
publisher = "American Medical Association",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Memory Complaints in Older Adults

T2 - Fact or Fiction?

AU - Bonaccorsy, Cathy

AU - Bleecker, Margit L.

AU - Bolla, Karen I

PY - 1991

Y1 - 1991

N2 - Complaints of poor memory by patients may be an early symptom of a pathologic process like Alzheimer's disease. It is therefore important to determine if patients' complaints of memory impairments are an accurate reflection of real memory disturbance. The relationship between memory complaints (metamemory) and objective memory performance, mood, age, verbal intelligence, and sex was examined in a group of 199 healthy, community dwelling adults (39 to 89 years old). Memory complaints demonstrated a stronger association with depressed mood than with performance on memory tests. Increasing reports of depressive symptoms were associated with more overall memory complaints. Verbal intelligence, age, and sex also contributed to memory complaints. Patients with higher verbal intelligence reported fewer complaints and placed less emphasis on forgetting. Older individuals reported greater frequency of forgetting and greater frequency of using memory techniques. Specific types of memory complaints, seriousness of forgetting, and types of memory aids employed are also described. These results showed that self-rating of memory disturbance by older adults may be related more to depressed mood than to poor performance on memory tests.

AB - Complaints of poor memory by patients may be an early symptom of a pathologic process like Alzheimer's disease. It is therefore important to determine if patients' complaints of memory impairments are an accurate reflection of real memory disturbance. The relationship between memory complaints (metamemory) and objective memory performance, mood, age, verbal intelligence, and sex was examined in a group of 199 healthy, community dwelling adults (39 to 89 years old). Memory complaints demonstrated a stronger association with depressed mood than with performance on memory tests. Increasing reports of depressive symptoms were associated with more overall memory complaints. Verbal intelligence, age, and sex also contributed to memory complaints. Patients with higher verbal intelligence reported fewer complaints and placed less emphasis on forgetting. Older individuals reported greater frequency of forgetting and greater frequency of using memory techniques. Specific types of memory complaints, seriousness of forgetting, and types of memory aids employed are also described. These results showed that self-rating of memory disturbance by older adults may be related more to depressed mood than to poor performance on memory tests.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0026028969&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0026028969&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1001/archneur.1991.00530130069022

DO - 10.1001/archneur.1991.00530130069022

M3 - Article

C2 - 1986728

AN - SCOPUS:0026028969

VL - 48

SP - 61

EP - 64

JO - Archives of Neurology

JF - Archives of Neurology

SN - 0003-9942

IS - 1

ER -