New research indicates that people who go on to develop dementia can start losing awareness of their memory problems up to 3 years before the condition arises.

The study, published in Neurology, also identifies that a number of changes in the brain related to dementia are associated with a decline in memory awareness.

Dementia is a collective term to describe a group of symptoms severely affecting cognitive functioning. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease; according to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the US, with 5.3 million Americans of all ages estimated to have the condition.

This article originally appeared on Psychiatry Advisor

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