Clinical characteristics of individuals with subjective memory loss in Western Australia

Results from a cross-sectional survey

Roger M. Clarnette*, Osvaldo P. Almeida, Hans Forstl, Athena Paton, Ralph N. Martins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

91 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Subjective memory complaint is common in later life. Its relationship to future risk of dementia is unclear, although many reports have found a positive association. We designed the present cross-sectional survey to investigate the clinical features associated with subjective memory impairment. Method. One hundred and eight volunteers and 38 non-complainers acting as age-matched controls were recruited. Eleven subjects with memory complaints were excluded because of prior stroke or low MMSE score. The CAMCOG was used to measure cognition; complainers had significantly lower scores (p<0.001). Univariate analysis showed that complainers had greater prevalence of depression, anxiety, insomnia, psychotic phenomenon, difficulties with ADL and word-finding difficulties. Results. The frequency distribution of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele was similar for both groups (p=0.469). Logistic regression analysis indicated that CAMCOG scores (p=0.002) and word-finding difficulty (p=0.002) were independently associated with memory complaints. Conclusions. These results show that memory complainers have worse cognitive performance than non-complainers and support the findings of other studies that suggest that subjective memory loss may be a reliable indicator of cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-174
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Memory
  • Memory complaint
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Subjective memory loss

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