Skip 
Navigation Link

1215 South Walnut Ave.
Demopolis, AL 36732 mapmap

Access to Care: 1-800-239-2901

Aging & Geriatrics
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Can Air Pollution Take a Toll on Your Memory?Almost Half of Older Americans Fear Dementia, Try Untested Ways to Fight ItPeople Who Can't Read Face 2-3 Times Higher Dementia RiskEducation a Buffer Against Alzheimer's Among Blacks: StudyNumber of Americans With Dementia Will Double by 2040: ReportDon't Forget These Tips to Boost Your MemoryFamily Can Help Keep Delirium at Bay After SurgeryYour Personality as a Teen May Predict Your Risk of DementiaStandard Memory Tests for Seniors Might Differ by GenderAHA News: Growing – and Aging – Hispanic Population at Risk for DementiaGive Seniors a Memory Check at Annual Checkups, Experts SayFor People at High Risk, Evidence That Exercise Might Slow Alzheimer'sGetting Hitched Might Lower Your Odds for DementiaMany Older Americans Aren't Equipped to Weather Hurricanes Like DorianHow You Can Help Head Off Alzheimer's DiseaseWho's Most Likely to Scam a Senior? The Answer May Surprise YouAHA News: Time With Grandkids Could Boost Health – Even LifespanIs Your Forgetfulness Reason for Concern?Too Much Napping May Signal Alzheimer'sAt Risk for Alzheimer's? Exercise Might Help Keep It at BayHealthy Living Can Cut Odds for Alzheimer's in People at Genetic RiskEducation, Intelligence Might Protect Your BrainFor Some, Trouble Tracking Finances Could Be Sign of DementiaHuhn? Scientists Working on Hearing Aid That Solves the 'Cocktail Party' ProblemAnger a Threat to Health in Old AgeHealth Tip: Improving Your MemoryFinancial Scammers Often Prey on People With Early DementiaGum Disease Shows Possible Links to Alzheimer'sRate of U.S. Deaths Tied to Dementia Has More Than DoubledToo Few Seniors Are Getting Their Memory TestedMedical Pot: An Elixir for the Elderly?Are Hearing Loss, Mental Decline Related?Frailty a Risk Factor for DementiaHearing Aid Upkeep Often Out of Reach for the PoorHome-Based Care Teams Offer Help for Those With Dementia
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook ReviewsSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Elder Care

For Some, Trouble Tracking Finances Could Be Sign of Dementia

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Jun 5th 2019

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, June 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If someone you know is struggling to keep track of their finances as they age, early dementia might be the culprit.

That's the conclusion of researchers who tested 243 adults, aged 55 to 90, on their financial skills and performed brain scans to assess the buildup of beta-amyloid plaques, which are associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Some of the participants had no mental decline, some had mild memory impairment and some had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Specific financial skills declined with age and at the earliest stages of mild memory impairment, with similar declines in men and women, the study authors said.

"There has been a misperception that financial difficulty may occur only in the late stages of dementia, but this can happen early and the changes can be subtle," said senior study author P. Murali Doraiswamy. He is a professor of psychiatry and geriatrics at Duke University, in Durham, N.C.

After accounting for education levels and other factors, the researchers found that the more extensive the amyloid plaques were, the worse a person's ability to understand and use basic financial concepts or to complete financial tasks, such as calculating an account balance.

"The more we can understand adults' financial decision-making capacity and how that may change with aging, the better we can inform society about those issues," Doraiswamy said in a Duke news release.

"Older adults hold a disproportionate share of wealth in most countries and an estimated $18 trillion in the U.S. alone," Doraiswamy noted.

"Little is known about which brain circuits underlie the loss of financial skills in dementia. Given the rise in dementia cases over the coming decades and their vulnerability to financial scams, this is an area of high priority for research," Doraiswamy added.

Most testing for early dementia and Alzheimer's disease focuses on memory, explained study author Sierra Tolbert, a Duke researcher.

A financial capacity test, such as the 20-minute one used in this study, could help doctors track a person's mental function over time, Tolbert suggested.

"Doctors could consider proactively counseling their patients using this scale, but it's not widely in use," Tolbert said in the news release.

"If someone's scores are declining, that could be a warning sign. We're hoping with this research more doctors will become aware there are tools that can measure subtle changes over time and possibly help patients and families protect their loved ones and their finances," Tolbert added.

The study was published online recently in The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about Alzheimer's disease.