Mild Cognitive Impairment

Explaining Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Do you have a relative who is beginning to show signs of forgetfulness or confusion, and are you concerned that it is more than the usual signs of aging, and may be the early signs of a neuro-degenerative disorder?

This article will tell you more about mild cognitive impairment, the indicating factors of the disorder, and how it compares to normal signs of aging, and conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disorder or dementia.

What exactly is Mild Cognitive Impairment?

Key indicators of Mild Cognitive Impairment – MCI – include forgetfulness or confusion when doing everyday things like reading and writing, doing jigsaw puzzles, or preparing a meal beyond the parameters we expect within the normal aging process.

If incidents of forgetfulness or confusion begin to happen more and more regularly, and an individual is forgetting more important information such as appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, or the names of family members or pets – then other cognitive disorders may be developing.

Mild cognitive impairment sits in the space between the decline we see in cognitive abilities that we associate with aging and conditions such as dementia or AD. MCI is an intermediary condition, and may indicate an inclination do develop one of the more serious neuro-degenerative disorders.

What factors may contribute to developing MCI?

There are some environmental or lifestyle factors that may contribute to developing MCI – though these factors are cited in various studies as possible contributing factors there is little clear evidence to confirm the theories.

The possible environmental and lifestyle factors are thought to include:

• Diabetes
• Elevated cholesterol
• Depression
• Smoking
• A lack of physical exercise
• High blood pressure
• Limited involvement in mentally or socially stimulating activities

The biggest contributing factor to developing mild cognitive impairment, or to developing AD or dementia, is a genetic inclination. This does not mean an individual will definitely experience cognitive impairment, but does increase the possibility.

How does MCI relate to Alzheimer’s Disorder and Dementia?

Alzheimer’s Disorder and Dementia are more advanced declines in cognitive ability and awareness than MCI, confirmed by neuropathalogical diagnosis.

Mild cognitive impairment is an intermediary stage of cognitive decline, and is often evident prior to cognitive decline on a more extensive scale leading to development of AD or dementia.

Most people with Mild Cognitive Impairment live independent lives, and can appear quite well – but find that their forgetfulness and confusion may cause embarrassment.

About the Author:Dr. Michael Tuchman