Objective features of subjective cognitive decline in a United States national database

Stephanie Kielb*, Emily Rogalski, Sandra Weintraub, Alfred Rademaker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Introduction: Functional and cognitive features of subjective cognitive decline (SCD) were identified in a longitudinal database from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center. Methods: Cognitively normal older adults with (SCD+) and without (SCD−) self-reported memory complaints (N = 3915) were compared on (1) baseline Functional Assessment Questionnaire ratings, (2) baseline scores and longitudinal rate of change estimates from nine neuropsychological tests, and (3) final clinical diagnoses. Results: SCD+ had higher baseline ratings of functional impairment, reduced episodic memory practice effects and poorer performance on neuropsychological tests of psychomotor speed and language, and higher frequencies of mild cognitive impairment and dementia diagnoses at the end of follow-up compared with the SCD-group. Discussion: Subtle clinical features of SCD identified in this large cohort are difficult to detect at the individual level. More sensitive tests are needed to identify those with SCD who are vulnerable to cognitive decline and dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1337-1344
Number of pages8
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Alzheimer dementia
  • Memory complaint
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Preclinical Alzheimer disease
  • Prodromal Alzheimer disease
  • SCD
  • SMC
  • SMI
  • Subjective cognitive decline
  • Subjective cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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