Relationship between Prospective Memory Functioning and Self-Assessment of Mood among Patients with Chronic Respiratory Conditions
Author(s): Marta Agata Witkowska*
Prospective Memory (PM) is a group of processes and abilities thanks to which an individual is able to formulate purposes and intentions, to store them and implement them when the conditions are right. The concept of PM is highly practical and it is difficult to discuss it without referring to everyday life. The ability to use this kind of memory is of special importance in difficult situations, for example during chronic illnesses.
In order to function properly, an organism needs a constant supply of oxygen. Blood oxygen saturation is crucial to an organism’s survival, and in humans it influences intellectual abilities. Limitations in oxygen transport to the brain result in brain atrophy. The process may then lead to degeneration in the hippocampus and frontal lobes, which are responsible for prospective memory functioning, among other things. How PM operates is also affected by somatic illnesses which directly or indirectly influence Central Nervous System (CNS).
The study’s main goal was to describe the specificity of prospective memory functioning and its relationship with self-assessment of mood among persons who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases. Beck Depression Inventory and some memory tests were used. I examined 116 persons: patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), bronchial asthma, and allergic rhinitis, as well as healthy individuals. The results confirmed widespread mood disorders among participants with chronic respiratory conditions, which in turn disrupt one’s cognitive functioning, prospective memory in particular. The potential overlap of depressive disorders with early symptoms of dementia was also pointed out.