Losing your train of thought is probably not a warning sign of Alzheimer's. But getting lost may be.

Researchers asked 17,000 women with an average age of 74 to tell them about memory problems that worried them. The women were then administered cognitive assessments to see if they were suffering from serious memory impairments.

Women who said they sometimes forgot what they were talking about or occasionally couldn't remember where they put items like car keys were generally not suffering from serious memory problems, researchers found. But those who said they had trouble following a conversation or difficulty finding their way around familiar streets "were more highly associated than others with odds of cognitive impairment," researchers said.

The study appears in the current issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.


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