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Archives of Clinical Psychiatry (São Paulo)

Print version ISSN 0101-6083


PAULO, Débora Lee Vianna  and  YASSUDA, Mônica Sanches. The relation between memory complaints in the elderly and education, cognitive performance, and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Rev. psiquiatr. clín. [online]. 2010, vol.37, n.1, pp.23-26. ISSN 0101-6083.

BACKGROUND: Older adults with mnemonic deficits may complain about memory more frequently. Memory complaints may be more frequent among older adults with lower education, due to greater vulnerability to cognitive decline. OBJECTIVES: To investigate if memory complaints vary as a function of education, and to evaluate if memory complaints are associated with cognitive performance, and symptoms of depression and anxiety. METHODS: Sixty seven older adults (between 60-75 years) were divided into three groups: 1-4 years of education (n = 23), 4-8 years (n = 20), and 9 or more (n = 24). The protocol included the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Brief Cognitive Battery (BCB) - memorization of 10 pictures, Verbal Fluency Animal Category (VF), Clock Drawing Test (CDT) -, a questionnaire about frequency of forgetting, the Memory Complaint Questionnaire (MAC-Q), the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). RESULTS: Significant differences were observed among the three groups for the MMSE, 10-picture recognition, VF, and CDT, and no significant differences were found for frequency of forgetting and MAC-Q. Also, there was no association between complaints and cognitive performance, or complaints and depressive symptoms, however, the correlation between frequency of forgetting and symptoms of anxiety was significant. DISCUSSION: Memory complaints were not associated to education, cognitive performance, or depressive symptoms, yet, they were associated with anxiety symptoms.

Keywords : Memory complaints; aging; education; elderly; depression; anxiety.

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