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Subjective memory complaints, depressive symptoms and instrumental activities of daily living in mild cognitive impairment

  • Seon Young Ryu (a1), Sang Bong Lee (a1), Tae Woo Kim (a1) and Taek Jun Lee (a1)



The diagnostic relevance of subjective memory complaints (SMCs) in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) remains to be unresolved. The aim of this study is to determine clinical correlates of SMCs in MCI. Furthermore, we examined whether there are the differences due to different aspects of complaints (i.e. prospective memory (PM) versus retrospective memory (RM) complaints).


We examined the cross-sectional associations between SMCs and depressive symptoms, instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), and cognitive measures in sixty-six individuals with MCI (mean age: 65.7 ± 8.01 years). The criteria for MCI included SMCs, objective cognitive impairment, normal general cognitive function, largely intact functional activities, and absence of dementia. SMCs were assessed using the Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire (PRMQ), which contains 16 items describing everyday memory failure of both PM and RM.


SMC severity (i.e. PRMQ total score) was associated with stronger depressive symptoms and worse IADL performance. SMCs were not related to cognitive measures. For PM and RM subscores, both depressive symptoms and IADL were related to the PRMQ-PM and -RM scores. The main contributors to these PM and RM scores were depressive symptoms and IADL impairment, respectively.


This study suggests that SMCs are more associated with depressive symptoms and IADL problems than with cognitive performance in individuals with MCI. Furthermore, while PM and RM complaints are related to both depressive symptoms and IADL, the differences between these main contributors suggest that RM complaints based on IADL could be more associated with the organically driven pathological features of MCI.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Seon Young Ryu, MD, Department of Neurology, Daejeon St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 64 Daeheung-ro, Jung-gu, Daejeon 34943, South Korea. Phone: +82-42-220-9010; Fax: +82-42-257-4485. Email:


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Subjective memory complaints, depressive symptoms and instrumental activities of daily living in mild cognitive impairment

  • Seon Young Ryu (a1), Sang Bong Lee (a1), Tae Woo Kim (a1) and Taek Jun Lee (a1)


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