Mild Cognitive Impairment

What is mild cognitive impairment?

Mild Cognitive Impairment is a syndrome (a collection of symptoms). It is described by a cognitive decline that is greater than normal aging but that does not interfere in a notable way with daily activities whereas dementia affects daily function. 15% to 20% of the population over 65 years old suffers from Mild Cognitive Impairment. Researchers are now dividing Mild Cognitive Impairment into different subtypes (amnestic, non-amnestic, single-domain, multiple-domain) and are looking into how these different subtypes are related to different types of dementia.

Does mild cognitive impairment progress to Dementia?

Not all people with Mild Cognitive Impairment progress to dementia. Some stay in a state of Mild Cognitive Impairment, but some can even revert to normal cognition. The incidence of people progressing from Mild Cognitive Impairment to dementia within 5 years is over 40%, whereas over 35% of people with Mild Cognitive Impairment revert to normal cognition. However, the people that reverted remain more at risk to later on develop dementia. Therefore, Mild Cognitive Impairment can be recognized as a risk state for dementia. Its diagnosis can lead to acknowledgment of the syndrome and to prevention by controlling risk factors.

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