Mild Cognitive Impairment
by Laurie B. Rosenblum, MPH
Mild cognitive impairment–amnestic type (MCI-AT) is mild, repeated memory loss. It lies between the normal memory loss of aging and the more serious conditions of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. MCI-AT only involves problems with memory.
People with MCI-AT who are over age 65 have a higher chance of developing dementia and Alzheimer's. However, many people with MCI-AT never develop these disorders. Some even return to normal.
The causes are not clear. However, genetic factors may be a cause.
Risk Factors TOP
Factors that may increase your chance of developing MCI-AT include:
Research also suggests that these may be risk factors for MCI-AT:
The main symptom is frequent, ongoing memory loss beyond what is normally expected for your age. That means having more than small lapses of memory. If you have MCI-AT, you may:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor may also talk with family members and caregivers. Tests may include:
Imaging tests take pictures of internal bodily structures. This can be done with:
Treatment is focused on:
Researchers are currently studying the effects that several medications may have on slowing cognitive decline. These include:
To help reduce your chance of developing MCI-AT:
American Psychiatric Association
National Institute on Aging
The Alzheimer Society of Canada
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Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 9/30/2013