Medical Help-Seekers with Anxiety from Deterioration in Memory are Characterized with Risk Factors for Cognitive Decline

Ariela Gigi, Merav Papirovitz, Eli Vakil, Therese Treves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Anxiety and subjective memory complaints (SMC) are major risk factors for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and dementia. However, the association between anxiety, SMC and medical help-seeking due to complaints is not clear. Here, we assessed anxiety which rose specifically by memory examination and compared it between help-seekers in memory clinics (HS) and non-help seekers (NHS). Methods: Twenty HS (60% female) were recruited from a memory Clinic, and 55 NHS (63% female) were recruited from the community. Participants (aged 59–82) completed objective memory assessment, Subjective Memory questionnaire, depression questionnaire and State-Trait Anxiety questionnaire. State-anxiety was assessed immediately following memory testing (indicating anxiety triggered by testing memory). For statistical evaluation, we used non-parametric tests. Results: HS participants reported significantly higher levels of state-anxiety and had more SMC compared to the NHS. No differences in objective memory tests and trait-anxiety were found. Conclusions: People who are seeking help in memory clinics (even those who do not meet any criteria for memory decline) are liable to be at high risk for MCI and dementia. Clinical Implications: We recommend that HS with SMC should be treated as a high-risk group, even if they do not show objective memory deficits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-208
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Dementia
  • medical help seeking
  • memory clinic
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • specific anxiety
  • subjective memory complaints

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