Cognitive decline presents as [memory complaints] [increased forgetfulness] that become [severe] [depressed] in the elderly. Clinicians need to understand and recognize the signs of cognitive decline. The easiest way to do this is to visit the ADNI homepageand review the Cognitive Decline in Late Life article. The most informative and important part of the article for patients and caregivers is on the [symptoms of dementia (AD)](https://www.medscape.
Cognitive decline in late life cannot be completely reversed. However, by halting the cognitive decline, the degree can be reduced, and so can the risk for developing dementia.
Patients who perceive their cognitive function declining do not necessarily have brain atrophy. Therefore, the diagnosis of cognitive decline should not be interpreted as a diagnosis of brain atrophy.
Cognitive impairment is often due to multiple factors, including a range of cardiovascular illnesses, chronic disease, psychosocial factors, and medical illness. An individualized, integrated approach to prevention and care is necessary to optimize outcomes.
This review provides an overview of current treatment for major causes of cognitive decline. While some therapies have significant benefit, there is still need for research to find better solutions to cognitive decline.
About a million women and men older than 85 years experience cognitive decline each year. Subjects with high levels of depressive symptoms and cognitive decline were twice as likely to report being cared for by others, compared to subjects without high levels of depressive symptoms. In the United States, the annual number of new diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and of the dementing condition cognitive impairment increases substantially after the age of 75.
Findings from a recent study suggest that compensatory cognitive training may be an effective way to enhance HRQOL in individuals with a diagnosis of cognitive decline.
Findings from a recent study suggest that motivation (especially in cognitive training) is important in the clinical improvement of people with PDD. Findings from a recent study show that the use of a novel approach, combining training with motivation enhancement, might be a more effective treatment than traditional cognitive training in PD in terms of clinical motor outcomes.
Cognitive decline among persons over 66 years old can pose clinically significant problems, particularly if it has progressed over the past few years. Early diagnosis and careful management of any underlying illnesses, as well as treatment of the cognitive dysfunction in people with normal cognitive function, could reduce the likelihood or severity of future problems.
Genetic factors play a significant role in age-related cognitive impairment, but specific genes associated with Alzheimer's disease have yet to be identified. However, evidence has emerged in support of the family history of cognitive impairment-Alzheimer's disease and the familial pattern of age-related cognitive change. Future research must pursue a multigenerational approach, and evaluate multiple genes, genetic factors, and environmental factors concurrently over multiple time points in individuals within a family with regard to age-related cognitive decline.
There are many ways the brain can fail. There are not many treatments to treat cognitive decline. Some of these treatments can help, but some of them are not effective. In some clinical trials, there are cognitive functioning tests used to gauge cognition status and the test results have to be compared to a control group to see if the treatments have worked. For example, one study looked at the effects of methylphenidate on memory performance, comparing it to a placebo. Another study assessed the effects of a very small dose of methylphenidate on an amalgam population. There is a possibility that these drugs could be able to help, but not enough evidence exists to recommend one over another.
In a recent study, findings of many clinical trials that have been completed over the last decade are conflicting. Further studies are needed to determine what causes cognitive decline, how it can be prevented and how it affects quality of life. (http://www.ncbionline.org/pmid/22909710/).