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.

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This article originally appeared on Psychiatry Advisor

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