People who report memory problems are more likely to suffer from stress or anxiety than from Alzheimer's.
Forgetting things can be a stressful experience if it occurs often – but it doesn’t have to imply Alzheimers or similar.
Marie Eckerström, PhD at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden, has investigated a special group of patients. It is people who are seeking help because of self-perceived cognitive problems but have no objective signs of disease despite a thorough investigation.
They are usually highly educated professionals who are between the ages of 50 and 60. When tested at the hospital, their memory functions are intact. But they felt that their cognition didn’t function very well in their daily life.
Dr Eckerström found a very strong correlation between the experience of stress and this sensation of memory loss.
“We found that problems with stress were very common. Patients often tell us they are living or have lived with severe stress for a prolonged period of time and this has affected their cognitive functions to such an extent that they feel like they are sick and are worried about it,” says Marie Eckerström.