Self-Reports of Memory Problems in Relatives of Patients With Probable Alzheimer's Disease
|Susan McPherson a1a2, Asenath La Rue a2a3, Allan Fitz a4, Steven Matsuyama a2a5a6 and Lissy F. Jarvik a2a6|
a1 Neuroscience Associates, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
a2 Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
a3 Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.
a4 St. Luke Rehabilitation Institute, Spokane, Washington, U.S.A.
a5 UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
a6 Veterans Affairs Medical Center, West Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
This study examined the relationship between subjective memory complaints and performance on tests of memory by relatives of patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD) and by older adults without a family history of dementia. Relatives of AD patients did not differ significantly from controls either in level of complaint or in performance on neuropsychological tests. However, among relatives of patients with early-onset AD, significant correlations were found between performance on memory tests and self-rated changes in everyday memory. These findings raise the possibility that relatives who have entered the age range in which their parents or siblings developed dementia symptoms are monitoring their memory performance more diligently than relatives of patients whose illness began at much later ages or persons who have no close relatives with AD.