Washington D.C.: A new study has revealed that people who suffer from dementia may start to lose their memory up to three years before disease takes hold.
Author Robert S. Wilson of the Rush University Medical Center said that their findings suggested that unawareness of one's memory problems was an inevitable feature of late-life dementia, driven by a buildup of dementia-related changes in the brain.
The study included 2,092 participants, from three ongoing studies that have each followed older adults for more than 10 years.
Wilson said that virtually everyone had a lack of awareness of their memory problems at some point in the disease.
According to the researchers, the memory unawareness began earlier in younger people than in older people and that might be because older people were more likely to expect memory loss as a normal part of aging.
Wilson said that this study underscored the importance of family members looking for help from doctors and doctors getting information from friends or family when making decisions about whether a person has dementia.
The study is published in the Journal Neurology.