Would an older adult with Alzheimer’s Disease be as distressed by their difficulties in daily life as a person with mild cognitive impairment?
Quality of life for adults diagnosed with dementia is measured by their mental and physical wellbeing, social interactions, and mood. Researchers at Penn sought to examine the relationship between the quality of life of older adults, and their self-reported cognitive complaints. The 259 participants recruited into the study by Penn Memory Center had varying degrees of cognitive decline, 68 had Alzheimer’s Disease, 92 had mild cognitive impairment, and 99 had normal cognition. The researchers met with the participants face-to-face, and measured three cognitive complaints:
1. Cognitive difficulties
2. Distress due to cognitive problems
3. Belief that one experienced more memory problems than most others
The team at Penn were then able to analyse their responses, and look for relationships between the participants’ complaints and their level of cognition. Researchers found that the the distress was amplified in those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and higher yet in college-educated participants with mild cognitive impairment.
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