Alzheimer’s disease Indicator Linked to Poor Health and Financial Decision Making, Study Shows

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Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) frequently precedes the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and various other dementia-related conditions. MCI is a less severe manifestation of cognitive decline and affected individuals often express difficulties in memory and cognitive abilities, yet they generally maintain their capacity for independent living. Recent studies have unveiled a link between MCI and potential concerns related to decision-making.

MCI affects decision making in adults

Individuals with MCI exhibit notably inferior performance on a decision-making test assessing four crucial domains compared to mentally sound older individuals. Past studies indicate that those with MCI tend to demonstrate subpar judgment, particularly in healthcare and financial issues.

In the latest study, researchers sought to gain more understanding about the impact of age-related decline on daily decision-making and how to support older adults in balancing autonomy and safety within families and communities.

Corresponding study author Duke Han, who a is family medicine gerontology, neurology, psychology professor at Keck School of Medicine of USC, said that the inclusion of this new evidence reinforces previous research findings, increasing confidence in the idea that older adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) may encounter difficulties in specific decision-making scenarios.

Adults with MCI may benefit from seeking support for specific decisions like financial matters and driving safety, according to researchers. It is important to note that individuals with MCI are still capable of independently performing many other activities.

People with MCI need more help and resources

The study clarifies that older adults with MCI can still make independent decisions, but they may benefit from extra help or resources. Laura Fenton, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences doctoral student suggests that alancing support and respecting autonomy of seniors is crucial.

Prof. Han affirms that the most significant takeaway is that when an individual begins to encounter cognitive challenges, it is advisable to explore seeking additional assistance in these domains.

In the future, the researches intend to carry out more extensive investigations encompassing a wide-ranging pool of participants, encompassing diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, to ensure forthcoming discoveries faithfully represent the experiences of all senior citizens throughout the United States.

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