Susceptibility for scam might be a sign for risk in cognitive decline

Susceptibility for scam might be a sign for risk in cognitive decline


Adults who are older have slimmer chances of detecting scams and pose a risk of developing dementia, write the researchers from the National Institute on Aging in a study. The study, published on April 16-th in Annals of Internal Medicine is led by Patricia Boyle at the Rush Alzheimers Disease Research Center.

Scam awareness is a behavior that is complex and needs various social cognitive abilities, as well as recognizing that other people's intentions might differ from yours, and also the awareness of their traits of personality. This behavior's complexity and in particular the desire to combine a lot of other abilities and still be able to manage a social situation that is challenging may be one of the reasons for it to be considered as a sign of Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Scam awareness was measured by the researchers in 935 adults who are older and did not have dementia and participated in the Rush Memory and Aging Project by using a form of a questionnaire to assess knowledge of deceiving tactic and wish to participate in a conduct which resulted in scams. Every single one of the participants had evaluations made by the clinic annually that had tests of their cognitive performances, history of medical interviews, and individual neurological examinations.

Low scam awareness is connected with Alzheimer's disease

During the 6 years of assessment for scam awareness, 255 of the participants developed MCI and 151 developed Alzheimer's. Participants who had low scam awareness had doubled their chances of developing Alzheimer's and MCI rather than those with high scam awareness. The participants who developed this disease also had lower scam awareness, lower educational levels, and lower global cognition rather than those who did not develop it. Analysis that was furtherly made showed that there was a connection between Alzheimer's and low scam awareness and MCI was strong even after the control for global cognition, which indicated that the researchers might have accessed a construct different from cognition.

The researchers also found out that a larger group of the participants who had died and had a brain autopsy, low scam awareness was connected with Alzheimer's beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles. Researchers thought of this finding as a support for the idea that low scam awareness might partially be a result of acquisition of Alzheimer's pathology and it could be considered to be a relevant early sign of adverse cognitive outcomes.

Researchers raise awareness that the measures taken in this study are not able to correctly predict if a person susceptible to scams is going to develop Alzheimer's or MCI. In order to develop measures used in clinical settings more research is required.

Problems with money management and financial decisions are one of the signs of early Alzheimer's disease. Every person of age could be educated on how to avoid fraud and scams and learn how to manage and protect their finances. If you know someone who is being scammed or even if you get in such a situation, don't hesitate to contact the Department of Justice - Fraud Section

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Petar Jangelovski
Petar Jangelovski

Petar Jangelovski A former ESL teacher who enjoys reading books and going out with friends. Experienced and creative translator, and once upon a time a poet, who wrote Shakespearean-like sonnets.

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