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Small mistakes in daily tasks may be an early warning of dementia

06 October 2017

A paper published online by the Journal of Neuropsychology has been reported by the Daily Mail.

Small mistakes in daily tasks may be an early warning of dementia

The paper, ‘Everyday Task Knowledge and Everyday Function in Dementia’, looks at a sample of healthy adults and individuals with Alzheimer’s diseases or Parkinson’s disease to explore the relations between everyday action knowledge and everyday function in these groups.

It is written by a team from Temple University in Philadelphia and the tasks studied included making a breakfast of jam on toast with a cup of coffee, packing a lunch for a child and wrapping a present.

One of the paper’s authors, Dr Tania Giovannetti, told the Mail:

"Early on, we can look at very subtle errors called 'micorerrors'.

"When we compare healthy agers to young people, there are more microerrors in healthy older adults than young adults, and they're associated with memory problems and cognitive changes.

"Healthy agers reach out to objects inefficiently, they touch them when they don't need to, they make all these extra little actions.

"We think that might be the beginning of a problem. If you have more of those, then you are more vulnerable to decline in future.

"It's really too early on to say if there's a problem but those subtle little signs might be something to keep an eye on."

You can read the full report on the Daily Mail website.

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