Chronic pain and memory impairment afflict many older adults, and one study suggests a connection between the two conditions.
Dr. Elizabeth Whitlock and her associates at the University of California, San Francisco, assessed data from a study of more than 10,000 volunteers age 62 or older who answered questions on pain and cognition.
Persistent pain was associated with nearly 10 percent faster memory decline.
After 10 years, such accelerated memory decline suggested a 16 percent greater risk for incapacity to handle medications and a 12 percent higher risk for difficulties managing finances.
Subjects with chronic pain also had a greater risk of dementia or cognitive impairment.
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