Getting older, in and of itself, is not the cause of so-called “senior moments”. A new study found that even these mild memory lapses are caused by the same brain lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Researchers found that in the last four to five years of life, people’s memory showed a very rapid decline. Pathologic lesions were found to be related to this rapid decline. The preceding years showed a much more gradual decline that was the actual result of normal aging.
According to Newswise:
“…Researchers looked at the rate of change in cognitive function over time. The last four to five years of life showed a very rapid decline. The preceding years showed a much more gradual decline that would be described as normal aging.
…Recognizing that the earliest changes in memory are related to Alzheimer’s pathology can lead to early diagnosis and will be critical information if a treatment is developed that can alter the pathologic course of the disease.”
Chapter: Health :: 8 October 2010