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Impaired Financial Skills Could Help Predict Alzheimer’s

Last Updated: September 21, 2009.

Patients with mild cognitive impairment may have faltering financial reasoning in the year before converting to Alzheimer's disease, which could have implications for their families, according to research published in the Sept. 22 issue of Neurology.

MONDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may have faltering financial reasoning in the year before converting to Alzheimer's disease, which could have implications for their families, according to research published in the Sept. 22 issue of Neurology.

Kristen L. Triebel, of the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and colleagues analyzed data from 87 patients with MCI and memory loss and 76 healthy older controls. Between baseline and one-year follow-up, 25 patients with MCI developed Alzheimer's-type dementia, and comprised the "MCI converter" group. All took the Financial Capacity Instrument at both points.

At baseline, the researchers found that controls performed better on most parts of the financial instrument than MCI converters and non-converters. However, non-converters performed better than converters on several domains and total scores at this time. At follow-up, converters showed greater decline than the other groups on checkbook management and total scores.

"Clinicians should proactively monitor patients with MCI for declining financial skills and advise patients and families about appropriate interventions. Family members can oversee a patient's checking transactions, contact the patient's bank to detect irregularities such as bills being paid twice, or become cosignatory on a checking account so that joint signature is required for checks above a certain amount," the authors write.

Several co-authors reported disclosures related to journals, invention royalties, financial relationships with companies, and consulting on legal cases.

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