Research in the USA indicates that the experience of memory lapses (so-called “senior moments”) may be less a cause for concern than a failing sense of memory awareness (i.e. forgetting what has been forgotten).
This study, which followed over 2,000 older adults for a period of 10 years, found that poor awareness of failing memory appears to be a warning sign of impending dementia. The 10% of study participants who were later diagnosed with dementia tended to have experienced a decline in memory awareness roughly two to three years before developing dementia.
How having ‘senior moments’ may be a good thing. London: NHS Choices Behind the Headlines, August 27th 2015.
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Wilson, RS. Boyle, PA. [and] Yu, L. [et al] (2015). Temporal course and pathologic basis of unawareness of memory loss in dementia. Neurology. August 26th 2015. [Epub ahead of print]. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).