Mild Cognitive Impairment

Also called: MCI

Some forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging. However, some people have more memory problems than other people their age. This condition is called mild cognitive impairment, or MCI. People with MCI can take care of themselves and do their normal activities.

MCI memory problems may include

  • Losing things often
  • Forgetting to go to events and appointments
  • Having more trouble coming up with words than other people of the same age

Memory problems can also have other causes, including certain medicines and diseases that affect the blood vessels that supply the brain. Some of the problems brought on by these conditions can be managed or reversed.

Your health care provider can do thinking, memory, and language tests to see if you have MCI. You may also need to see a specialist for more tests. Because MCI may be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease, it's really important to see your health care provider every 6 to 12 months.

At this time, there is no proven drug treatment for MCI. Your health care provider can check to see if you have any changes in your memory or thinking skills over time.

NIH: National Institute on Aging

Symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment

The following features are indicative of Mild Cognitive Impairment:
  • losing things often
  • forgetting to go to events and appointments
  • depression
  • irritability and aggression
  • anxiety
  • apathy
  • impaired thinking skill

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Common Causes of Mild Cognitive Impairment

The following are the most common causes of Mild Cognitive Impairment:
  • abnormal clumps of beta-amyloid protein (plaques)
  • lewy bodies presence
  • reduced blood flow through brain blood vessels
  • shrinkage of the hippocampus
  • enlargement of the brain's fluid-filled spaces
  • reduced use of glucose in key brain regions

Risk Factors for Mild Cognitive Impairment

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Mild Cognitive Impairment:
  • advancing age
  • family history of Alzheimer's or another dementia
  • having diabetes
  • having high blood pressure
  • smoking
  • elevated cholesterol
  • depression
  • lack of physical exercise
  • infrequent participation in mentally or socially stimulating activities

Prevention of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Mild Cognitive Impairment. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • regular physical exercise
  • take diet rich in fish prevents cognitive syndromes
  • daily intake of fruit and vegetables protects from cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease

Occurrence of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Mild Cognitive Impairment cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Mild Cognitive Impairment most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged > 50 years

Common Gender

Mild Cognitive Impairment can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Mild Cognitive Impairment:
  • Brain imaging: To confirm the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment
  • Cerebrospinal fluid test: To determine if the individual has mild cognitive impairment
  • Neurological exam: To assess how well your brain and nervous system are working
  • Mental status testing: To evaluate the additional details about your mental function

Doctor for Diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment:
  • Neurologists
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists

Complications of Mild Cognitive Impairment if untreated

Yes, Mild Cognitive Impairment causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Mild Cognitive Impairment is left untreated:
  • dementia

Procedures for Treatment of Mild Cognitive Impairment

The following procedures are used to treat Mild Cognitive Impairment:
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation: Activates the small regions of the brain by placing a magnetic field generator near the head of the person
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation: Treats depression by delivering constant and low current to the brain area

Self-care for Mild Cognitive Impairment

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Mild Cognitive Impairment:
  • Regular physical exercise: Prevents cognitive decline
  • Take diet low in fat: Helps in protecting cognitive health
  • Consume Omega-3 fatty acids: Beneficial for cognitive health
  • Intellectual stimulation: Prevents cognitive decline
  • Take memory training: Improves your thinking function
  • Keep socially engaged: Preserves the mental function and lowers the mental decline

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Mild Cognitive Impairment

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Mild Cognitive Impairment:
  • Supplemental therapy: Prevents the progression of mild cognitive impairment

Patient Support for Treatment of Mild Cognitive Impairment

The following actions may help Mild Cognitive Impairment patients:
  • Stay Connected with other people through social activities and community programs: Reduces the risk for some health problems and improves well–being

Time for Treatment of Mild Cognitive Impairment

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Mild Cognitive Impairment to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Mild Cognitive Impairment.
Alzheimer's Disease

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