An elderly person's subjective sense that his or her memory is worsening appears to predict progression to dementia, especially if this impairment is a source of worry, report German researchers (Jessen F et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67:414-422).
The study involved 2415 adults aged 75 years or older with no cognitive impairment at baseline who were asked if their memory was becoming worse and if this worried them (a possible indicator of severity). Participants were assessed 1½ and 3 years later for mild cognitive impairment and dementia.
Stephenson J. Predicting Dementia. JAMA. 2010;303(19):1908. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.633