Two recent studies conducted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)'s Department of Rehabilitation Sciences found that Hong Kong people have experienced the problem of "prospective memory" or "not remembering to remember to take action". June 28, 2012
Two recent studies conducted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)'s Department of Rehabilitation Sciences found that Hong Kong people have experienced the problem of "prospective memory" or "not remembering to remember to take action". This also implies that they are not able to perform an intended action at a particular point in the future.
The first study involved 231 elderly subjects and the results were compared with a younger group of 140 people using a standardized Comprehensive Prospective Memory Questionnaire, and the results found that the memory problem was getting worse with ageing.
Similar findings are found in 104 patients with stroke and 39 with brain injury of similar age range and background, but more in severity, as compared with the normal health groups. Those people who tend to have more prospective memory failures are associated with Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (such as shopping, communication and appointment) than Basic Activities of Daily Living (such as self care, household chores). Based on this study, PolyU researchers have also computed a cut-off score for screening adults aged 55 or above with declining cognitive ability which may lead to dementia in the long run.
The second study used The Cambridge Prospective Memory Test objectively to evaluate a sample of 40 stroke patients (aged 25 to 65) with another 44 age-matched normal health group. Findings showed similar pattern of memory failures due to advancing age and with the disability factors.
Specifically, there are three types of prospective memory. For time-based prospective memory, the intended action should be performed at a specific time. For event-based prospective memory, the intended action should be performed when an external cue appears. Activity-based prospective memory is similar to event-based prospective memory, but it does not involve interruption of ongoing tasks. Upon the completion of an activity, it will trigger another memory activity. Prospective memory was detected in both health and disabled groups, suggesting that we are facing a demanding time pressure in work and social life that may lead to incompetence in daily life.
The research studies were completed by a research team led by Dr David Man, Associate Professor who heads the Cognitive Rehabilitation Laboratory at the University's Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. The study was also supported by the Kwai Chung Hospital, Kowloon Hospital, The Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council and The Self Help Group for the Brain Damaged in Hong Kong.
Dr David Man said more awareness should be given to this special form of memory affecting our daily busy working life. He also noted that different types of prospective memory required the execution of an intended action in different situations. The study found that time-based prospective memory is more easily affected than event-based prospective memory, and it would be associated with a person’s basic attention, executive function which is related to the special part of the brain – the prefrontal lobe. Based on the aforementioned analysis and results, researchers have identified the major prospective memory problems that affect daily living and self-care.
The study concluded that special intervention should be designed and implemented to minimize the effect of memory failures due to prospective memory dysfunction in both healthy people and patients. On top of daily exercise, family members could encourage older adults to participate in related training activities at home and in elderly service centres.
Press contact: Ms Doris Au
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
Tel: (852) 2766 4287
Email: rsdau (at) polyu.edu.hk
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012/6/prweb9651522.htm