Cognitive Decline

Person writing a listCognition is a combination of processes in the brain that includes the ability to learn, remember and make judgements. When cognition is impaired, it greatly impacts an individual’s health and wellbeing. Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD) is the self-reported worsening or more frequent memory loss or confusion. It is a form of cognitive impairment and an early noticeable symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Some cognitive decline can occur naturally with age, but forgetting how to perform routine tasks in daily life is not a normal part of aging. These changes should be discussed with a health care provider. 

Individuals with chronic health conditions are more likely to report worsening or more frequent memory problems. Researchers have found that only half of adults with SCD and a chronic condition have discussed their memory loss with a healthcare professional. Early diagnosis of memory loss is especially important for people with chronic health conditions.



Cognitive Decline Indicators and Chronic Disease Brief 

2019 Subjective Cognitive Decline Report 

Subjective Cognitive Decline in Iowa 

Source: CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention