Elderly people who suffer from a marked decline in memory function that falls short of dementia are more than twice as likely to die within five years than are those with normal cognition, researchers told the Alzheimer's Assn. International Conference meeting this week in Vancouver, Canada.
The latest study focuses on people older than 70 years of age who have "mild cognitive impairment" -- a condition in which mental decline is greater than is considered normal but does not satisfy a definition of Alzheimer's disease. Having mild cognitive impairment that affects memory was found to increase a patient's likelihood of dying in the near term. But mild cognitive impairment that results in diminished reasoning faculties, poor judgment or organizational difficulties did not bring with it a higher risk of impending death, the study found.
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