International Psychogeriatrics

Second Place 1993 IPA Research Awards in Psychogeriatrics

Age-Associated Memory Loss: Initial Neuropsychological and Cerebral Metabolic Findings of a Longitudinal Study

Gary W. Small a1a4, Anna Okonek a1, Mark A. Mandelkern a4a6, Asenath La Rue a1, Linda Chang a3a5, Ali Khonsary a4, James R. Ropchan a4 and William H. Blahd a2a4
a1 Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, U.S.A.
a2 Department of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, U.S.A.
a3 Department of Neurology, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, U.S.A.
a4 Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, West Los Angeles, U.S.A.
a5 Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
a6 Department of Physics, University of California, Irvine, California, U.S.A.

Article author query
small g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
okonek a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
mandelkern m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
la rue a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
chang l   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
khonsary a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
ropchan j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
blahd w   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


To determine the relationships between clinical and brain function in persons with a familial risk for Alzheimer's disease, the authors assessed subjective and objective cognitive abilities, mood state, and cerebral glucose metabolism (using positron emission tomography) in 43 persons with age-associated memory impairment, with and without first-degree relatives with a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Subjective complaints of memory loss, mood state ratings, and objective memory measures were similar in persons with a family history of Alzheimer's disease (n = 29) compared to those without such a history (n = 14). Metabolic ratios in the frontal regions correlated with a decrease in a specific type of subjective memory complaint (mnemonics usage; p < .001) and some mood state ratings. These results indicate that parietal and temporal hypometabolism is not evident in persons with mild age-related memory complaints, even when such subjects have a familial risk for Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, self-reports of mnemonics usage may be sensitive indicators of decreased frontal lobe function. Longitudinal study will determine whether such clinical and metabolic measures will predict eventual disease progression.