It is common for many to associate memory loss with dementia, however it is not uncommon that behaviour change can also be a tell-tale sign of neurological problems as well.
Dr Zahinoor Ismail and colleagues from the University of Calgary reported findings on the prevalence and characteristics of behavioural symptoms in a sample of people who attended a memory clinic. These results were presented as part of the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference held in Canada recently.
They described a condition known as mild behavioural impairment (MBI) that may be a forerunner of neurodegeneration and a precursor to mild cognitive impairment and possibly dementia.
Symptoms displayed as part of MBI can include apathy/drive/motivation, mood/affect/anxiety, impulse control/agitation/reward, social appropriateness and thoughts/perception.
Researchers now propose that a rating scale specifically designed for MBI is necessary to develop accurate prevalence estimates and as a later outcome measure of preventive therapies.
However, Dr Ismail said “further research is needed to develop MBI-specific questionnaires that may be more appropriate for use in younger people and people without any cognitive issues”.
In the meantime, if you are concerned about memory loss or behaviour change in yourself or a loved one, it is recommended to consult with a health professional or call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.