Vol. 6 nº 4 - Oct/Nov/Dec de 2012
Original Article Páginas: 212 a 218

Memory complaint scale (MCS): Proposed tool for active systematic search

Authors Francisco A.C. Vale1; Ari P. Balieiro-Jr2; José Humberto Silva-Filho3


keywords: subjective memory complaints, memory, psychometric tests, dementia.

Subjective Memory Complaints (SMC) are frequent among adults and elderly and are associated with poor quality of life. The etiology and clinical significance of SMCs are unclear, but these complaints are associated with objective cognitive decline or with depression, anxiety and psychosocial stressors. Biological and physiological brain alterations resembling those in Alzheimer's Disease have been found in SMC. SMC can evolve with different outcomes and represent the initial symptom or a risk factor of dementia. Active systematic search can be useful for early screening of candidates for preventive or therapeutic interventions.
OBJECTIVE: To propose a Memory Complaints Scale (MCS) as an instrument for actively searching for memory complaints and to investigate its utility for discriminating demented from cognitively normal elderly.
METHODS: A total of 161 patients from a teaching behavioral neurology outpatient unit of a tertiary hospital were studied. The MCS was used in two ways, by direct application to the patient and by application to the patient's companion. Cognitive tests assessing depression and daily living activities were also applied.
RESULTS: High Cronbach's alpha coefficients were found for the two application methods. Correlations between the two versions and the other instruments administered for patients grouped by type and severity of dementia were also found.
CONCLUSION: The MCS is a useful scale for identifying memory complaints and discriminating demented from cognitively normal elderly. Further studies confirming these findings are warranted.


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