Advertisement

Drugs & Aging

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 480–489 | Cite as

Age-Associated Memory Impairment

Normal Aging or Warning of Dementia?
  • Tuomo HänninenEmail author
  • Hilkka Soininen
Review Article Physiological Aspects of Aging

Summary

Aging causes deterioration in various aspects of memory performance in healthy adults. Different diagnostic classifications have been proposed for use in the characterisation of mild cognitive disorders associated with aging. One of the best established of these classifications is age-associated memory impairment (AAMI). Epidemiological data suggest that AAMI is a phenomenon of normal aging rather than a sign of progression from normal aging to a pathological state such as Alzheimer’s disease. A number of studies that have combined neuropsychological, neuroradiological and neurophysiological data have provided evidence of distinct characteristics in individuals with AAMI. At present, however, AAMI does not appear to describe any homogeneous group of individuals. Moreover, the neuropsychological methods used to diagnose AAMI appear to be ambiguous. Thus, AAMI appears to occur in a highly heterogeneous group of individuals, and is of questionable clinical or theoretical significance. More reliable diagnostic approaches are needed for use in studies that are attempting to identify the risk factors for dementia or to find a treatment for very early dementia.

Keywords

Dementia Mild Cognitive Impairment Frontal Lobe Normal Aging Medial Temporal Lobe 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Kral VA. Neuropsychiatric observations in an old people’s home: studies of memory dysfunction in senescence. J Gerontol 1958; 13: 169–76PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kral VA. Senescent forgetfulness: benign and malignant. Can Med Assoc J 1962; 86: 257–60PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Crook T, Bartus RT, Ferris SH, et al. Age-associated memory impairment: proposed diagnostic criteria and measures of clinical change — report of a National Institute of Mental Health work group. Dev Neuropsychol 1986; 2: 261–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Koivisto K, Reinikainen KJ, Hänninen T, et al. Prevalence of age-associated memory impairment in a randomly selected population from eastern Finland. Neurology 1995; 45: 741–7PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 3rd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, 1980Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Von Dras DD, Blumenthal HT. Dementia of the aged: disease or atypical accelerated aging? Biopathological and psychological perspectives. J Am Geriatr Soc 1992; 40: 285–94Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Drachman DA. If we live long enough, will we all be demented? Neurology 1994; 44: 1563–5PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Katzman R. Education and the prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Neurology 1993; 43: 13–20PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hardy J, Allsop D. Amyloid deposition as the central event in the aetiology of Alzheimer’s disease. Trends Pharmacol Sci 1991; 12: 383–8PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Youngjohn JR, Larrabee GJ, Crook TH. Discriminating ageassociated memory impairment from Alzheimer’s disease. Psychol Assess 1992; 4: 54–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Brayne C, Calloway P. Normal aging, impaired cognitive function, and senile dementia of Alzheimer type: a continuum? Lancet 1988; I: 1265–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Brayne C. How common are cognitive impairment and dementia? An epidemiological viewpoint. In: Huppert FA, Brayne C, O’Connor DW, editors. Dementia and normal aging. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994: 167–207Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Riedel WJ, Jolles J. Cognition enhancers in age-related cognitive decline. Drugs Aging 1996; 8: 245–74PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jolles J, Verhey FRJ, Riedel WJ, et al. Cognitive impairment in elderly people: predisposing factors and implications for experimental drug studies. Drugs Aging 1994; 7: 459–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    McEntee WJ, Crook TH. Age-associated memory impairment: a role for catecholamines. Neurology 1990; 40: 526–30PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Larrabee GJ, Crook TH. Estimated prevalence of age-associated memory impairment derived from standardized tests of memory function. Int Psychogeriatr 1994; 6: 95–104PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lane F, Snowdon J. Memory and dementia: a longitudinal survey of suburban elderly. In: Lovibond P, Wilson P, editors. Clinical and abnormal psychology. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1989: 365–76Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Barker A, Jones R, Jennison C. A prevalence study of age-associated memory impairment. Br J Psychiatry 1995; 167: 642–8PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Coria F, Gomez de Caso JA, Minguez F, et al. Prevalence of age-associated memory impairment and dementia in a rural community. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1993; 56: 973–6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ebly EM, Hogan DB, Parhad IM. Cognitive impairment in the nondemented elderly: results from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging. Arch Neurol 1995; 52: 612–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Reisberg B, Ferris SH, Franssen E, et al. Age-associated memory impairment: the clinical syndrome. Dev Neuropsychol 1986; 2: 401–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Reisberg B, Ferris SH, de Leon MJ, et al. Stage-specific behavioral, cognitive, and in vivo changes in community residing subjects with age-associated memory impairment and primary degenerative dementia of the Alzheimer type. Drug Dev Res 1988; 15: 101–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Flicker C, Ferris SH, Reisberg B. A longitudinal study of cognitive function in elderly persons with subjective memory complaints. J Am Geriatr Soc 1993; 41: 1029–32PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Youngjohn JR, Crook TH. Stability of everyday memory function in age-associated memory impairment: a longitudinal study. Neuropsychology 1993; 7: 406–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    O’Brien JT, Beats B, Hill K, et al. Do subjective memory complaints precede dementia? A three-year follow-up of patients with supposed ‘benign senescent forgetfulnes’. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 1992; 7: 481–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Hänninen T, Hallikainen M, Koivisto K, et al. A follow-up study of age-associated memory impairment: neuropsychological predictors of dementia. J Am Geriatr Soc 1995; 43: 1007–15PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kay DWK. The epidemiology of dementia: a review of recent work. Rev Clin Gerontol 1991; 1: 55–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Rocca WA, Hofman A, Brayne C, et al. for the EURODEM-Prevalence Research Group. Frequency and distribution of Alzheimer’s disease in Europe: a collaborative study of 1980–1990 prevalence findings. Ann Neurol 1991; 30: 381–90PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Fratiglioni L, Grut M, Forsell Y, et al. Prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in an elderly urban population: relationship with age, sex, and education. Neurology 1991; 41: 1886–92PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ritchie K, Leibovici D, Ledésert B, et al. A typology of subclinical senescent cognitive disorder. Br J Psychiatry 1996; 168: 470–6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Paykel ES, Brayne C, Huppert FA, et al. Incidence of dementia in a population older than 75 years in the United Kingdom. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1994; 51: 325–32PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Roth M, Tym E, Mountjoy CQ, et al. The CAMDEX: a standardized instrument for the diagnosis of mental disorder in the elderly, with special reference to the early detection of dementia. Br J Psychiatry 1986; 149: 698–709PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Petersen RC, Smith GE, Ivnik RJ, et al. Apolipoprotein E status as a predictor of development of Alzheimer’s disease in memory-impaired individuals. JAMA 1995; 273: 1274–8PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Kemper TL. Neuroanatomical and neuropathological changes during aging and dementia. In: Martin AL, Knoefel JE, editors. Geriatric neurology. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994: 3–67Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Lezak MD. Neuropsychological assessment. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Arbuckle TA, Gold DP, Andres D, et al. The role of psychosocial context, age and intelligence in memory performance of older men. Psychol Aging 1992; 7: 25–36PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Frackowiak RSJ. Functional mapping of memory and language. Trends Neurosci 1994; 17: 109–15PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Moscovitch M, Kapur S, Köhler S, et al. Distinct neural correlates of visual long-term memory for spatial location and object identity: a positron emission tomography study in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1995; 92: 3721–5PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Schacter DL, Alpert NM, Savage CR, et al. Conscious recollection and the human hippocampal formation: evidence from positron emission tomography. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1996; 93: 321–5PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Eustache F, Rioux P, Desgrandes B, et al. Healthy aging, memory subsystems and regional cerebral oxygen consumption. Neuropsychologia 1995; 33: 867–87PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Grady CL, Mcintosh AR, Horwitz B, et al. Age-related reductions in human recognition memory due to impaired encoding. Science 1995; 269: 218–21PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Squire LR. Memory and brain. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Launer LJ, Scheltens P, Lindeboom J, et al. Medial temporal lobe atrophy in an open population of very old persons: cognitive, brain atrophy, and sociomedical correlates. Neurology 1995; 45: 747–52PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Golomb J, de Leon MJ, Kluger A, et al. Hippocampal atrophy in normal aging: an association with recent memory impairment. Arch Neurol 1993; 50: 967–73PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Laakso MP, Partanen K, Riekkinen Jr P, et al. Hippocampal volumes in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease with and without dementia, and in vascular dementia: an MRI study. Neurology 1996; 46: 678–81PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    de Leon MJ, Golomb AE, George AE, et al. The radiologic prediction of Alzheimer disease: the atrophic hippocampal formation. Am J Neuroradiol 1993; 14: 897–906PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Laakso MP, Soininen H, Partanen K, et al. Volumes of hippocampus, amygdala and frontal lobes in the MRI-based diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s disease: correlation with memory functions. J Neural Transm Park Dis Dement Sect 1995; 9: 73–86PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Riekkinen Jr P, Soininen H, Helkala E-L, et al. Hippocampal atrophy, acute THA treatment and memory in Alzheimer’s disease. Neuroreport 1995; 6: 1267–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Gómez-Isla T, Price JL, McKeel DW, et al. Profound loss of layer II entorhinal cortex neurons occurs in very mild Alzheimer’s disease. J Neurosci 1996; 16: 4491–500PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Mesulam M-M. Large-scale neurocognitive networks and distributed processing for attention, language, and memory. Ann Neurol 1990; 28: 597–613PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Shimamura AP. Memory and frontal lobe function. In: Gazzaniga MS, editor. The cognitive neurosciences. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1995: 803–13Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Haug H, Barmwater U, Eggers R, et al. Anatomical changes in aging brain: morphometric analysis of the human prosencephalon. In: Cervos-Navarro J, Sarkander HI, editors. Neuropharmacology (Aging vol. 21). New York: Raven Press, 1983: 1–12Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Coffey CE, Wilkinson WE, Parashos IA, et al. Quantitative cerebral anatomy of the aging human brain: a cross-sectional study using magnetic resonance imaging. Neurology 1992; 42: 527–36PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Cowell PE, Turetsky BI, Gur RC, et al. Sex differences in aging of the human frontal and temporal lobes. J Neurosci 1994; 14: 4748–55PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Dempster FN. The rise and fall of the inhibitory mechanism: toward a unified theory of cognitive development and aging. Dev Rev 1992; 12: 45–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Daum I, Gräber S, Schugens MM, et al. Memory dysfunction of frontal type in normal ageing. Neuroreport 1996; 7: 2625–8PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Kertesz A, Polk M, Carr T. Cognition and white matter changes on magnetic resonance imaging in dementia. Arch Neurol 1990; 47: 387–91PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Almkvist O, Wahlund L-O, Andersson-Lundman G, et al. White-matter hyperintensity and neuropsychological functions in dementia and healthy aging. Arch Neurol 1992; 49: 626–32PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Ylikoski R, Ylikoski A, Erkinjuntti T, et al. White matter changes in healthy elderly persons correlate with attention and speed of mental processing. Arch Neurol 1993; 50: 818–24PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Skoog I, Berg S, Johansson B, et al. The influence of white matter lesions on neuropsychological functioning in demented and non-demented 85-year-olds. Acta Neurol Scand Suppl 1996; 165: 142–8Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Fein G, VanDyke C, Davenport L, et al. Preservation of normal cognitive functioning in elderly subjects with extensive white-matter lesions of long duration. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1990; 47: 220–3PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Boone KB, Miller BL, Lesser IM, et al. Neuropsychological correlates of white-matter lesions in healthy elderly subjects: a threshold effect. Arch Neurol 1992; 49: 549–54PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Mittenberg W, Seidenberg M, O’Leary DS, et al. Changes in cerebral functioning associated with normal aging. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 1989; 11: 918–32PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Soininen HS, Partanen K, Pitkänen A, et al. Volumetric MRI analysis of the amygdala and the hippocampus in subjects with age-associated memory impairment: correlation to visual and verbal memory. Neurology 1994; 44: 1660–8PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Soininen H, Karhu J, Partanen J, et al. Habituation of auditory N100 correlates with amygdaloid volumes and frontal functions in age-associated memory impairment. Physiol Behav 1995; 57: 927–35PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Hänninen T, Hallikainen M, Koivisto K, et al. Decline of frontal lobe functions in subjects with age-associated memory impairment. Neurology 1997; 48: 148–53PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Small GW, Okonek A, Mandelkern MA, et al. Age-associated memory loss: initial neuropsychological and cerebral metabolic findings of a longitudinal study. Int Psychogeriatr 1994; 6: 23–44PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Patterson MB, Mack JL, Geldmacher DS, et al. Executive functions and Alzheimer’s disease: problems and prospects. Eur J Neurol 1996; 3: 5–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Buschke H, Grober E. Genuine memory deficits in age-associated memory impairment. Dev Neuropsychol 1986; 2: 287–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Bamford KA, Caine ED. Does ‘benign senescent forgetfulness’ exist? Clin Geriatr Med 1988; 4: 897–916PubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Larrabee GJ, Levin HS, High WM. Senescent forgetfulness: a quantitative study. Dev Neuropsychol 1986; 2: 373–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    O’Neill D, Surmon DJ, Wilcock GK. Longitudinal diagnosis of memory disorders. Age Ageing 1992; 21: 393–7PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Dawe B, Procter A, Philpot M. Concepts of mild memory impairment in the elderly and their relationship to dementia — a review. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 1992; 7: 473–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    World Health Organization. The ICD-10 classification of mental and behavioural disorders: diagnostic criteria for research. Geneva: WHO, 1993Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    Christensen H, Henderson AS, Jorm AF, et al. ICD-10 mild cognitive disorder: epidemiological evidence on its validity. Psychol Med 1995; 25: 105–20PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Levy R. Aging-associated cognitive decline. Int Psychogeriatr 1994; 6: 63–8PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Hänninen T, Koivisto K, Reinikainen KJ, et al. Prevalence of ageing-associated cognitive decline in an elderly population. Age Ageing 1996; 25: 201–5PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    American Psychiatrie Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 4th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatrie Association, 1994Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Rediess S, Caine ED. Aging, cognition, and DSM-IV. Aging Neuropsychol Cogn 1996; 3: 105–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Larrabee GJ, Crook TH. Performance subtypes of everyday memory functions. Dev Neuropsychol 1989; 5: 267–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. 81.
    Blackford RC, La Rue A. Criteria for diagnosing age-associated memory impairment: proposed improvements from the field. Dev Neuropsychol 1989; 5: 295–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. 82.
    Smith G, Ivnik RJ, Petersen RC, et al. Age-associated memory impairment diagnoses: problems of reliability and concerns for terminology. Psychol Aging 1991; 6: 551–8PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. 83.
    O’Brien JT, Levy R. Age-associated memory impairment: too broad an entity to justify drug treatment yet. BMJ 1992; 304: 5–6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. 84.
    Caine ED. Should aging-associated cognitive decline be included in DSM-IV? J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 1993; 5: 1–5PubMedGoogle Scholar
  85. 85.
    Ratcliff G, Saxton J. Age-associated memory impairment. In: Coffey CE, Cummings JL, editors. Textbook of geriatric neuropsychiatry. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, 1994: 145–58Google Scholar
  86. 86.
    Larrabee GJ, McEntee WJ. Age-associated memory impairment: sorting out controversies. Neurology 1995; 45: 611–4PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. 87.
    Larrabee GJ. Age-associated memory impairment: definition and psychometric characteristics. Aging Neuropsychol Cogn 1996; 3: 118–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. 88.
    Barker A, Jones R. Age-associated memory impairment: diagnostic and treatment issues. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 1993; 8: 305–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. 89.
    O’Brien JT. Age-associated memory impairment: a real disease entity? CNS Drugs 1994; 1: 89–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. 90.
    Parnetti L, Lowenthal DT, Presciutti O, et al. 1H-MRS, MRI-based hippocampal volumetry, and 99mTc-HMPAO-SPECT in normal aging, age-associated memory impairment, and probable Alzheimer’s disease. J Am Geriatr Soc 1996; 44: 133–8PubMedGoogle Scholar
  91. 91.
    Flicker C, Ferris SH, Reisberg B. Mild cognitive impairment in the elderly: predictors of dementia. Neurology 1991; 41: 1006–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyKuopio University HospitalKuopioFinland

Personalised recommendations