What is mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or early dementia?
Dr. Ron Petersen was the first to define a condition called mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to describe early changes in memory. Early dementia, also known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI), involves problems with memory, language, or other cognitive functions. But unlike those with full-blown dementia, people with mild cognitive impairment are still able to function in their daily lives without relying on others. People with MCI are an important group for researchers to understand because about 80 percent of people with MCI characterized by memory loss go on to develop AD within seven years. In contrast, only from 1 to 3 percent of people older than sixty-five with healthy cognitive abilities will develop AD in any given year.
Experts classify Mild cognitive impairment based on the thinking skills affected:
- MCI that primarily affects memory is known as “amnestic MCI.” With amnestic MCI, a person may start to forget important information that he or she would previously have recalled easily, such as appointments, conversations or recent events.
- MCI that affects thinking skills other than memory is known as “nonamnestic MCI.” Thinking skills that may be affected by nonamnestic MCI include the ability to make sound decisions, judge the time or sequence
Treatment and outcomes
No medications are currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat mild cognitive impairment. Drugs approved to treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease have not shown any lasting benefit in delaying or preventing progression of MCI to dementia.
The following coping strategies may be helpful for those with MCI. Some studies suggest that these strategies may help slow decline in thinking skills, although more research is needed to confirm their effect.
Exercise on a regular basis to benefit your heart and blood vessels, including those that nourish your brain.
Control cardiovascular risk factors to protect your heart and blood vessels, including those that support brain function.
Participate in mentally stimulating and socially engaging activities, which may help sustain brain function.
Experts recommend that a person diagnosed with MCI be re-evaluated every six months to determine if symptoms are staying the same, improving or growing worse.
OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES
http://nihseniorhealth.gov Check out the videos in this site
http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/ Good information
https://www.alzconnected.org Forum to get connected with other caregivers
https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/ Good place to download documents
Visit Talking Point and take part in the discussions