People who have MCI are often at a more increased risk to develop dementia. Mild cognitive impairment is not a form of dementia, but can be considered a pre-dementia condition that causes systems to worsen over time.
It is reported that 5-20 percent of people over the age of 65 develop MCI. The Alzheimer’s Association states that that MCI is described as more of a set of symptoms than a specific disease. A person with MCI has minor problems with cognition and mental abilities.
MCI leads people to have mild problems with their memory, issues staying focused because they are easily distracted, struggle with finding the words and a difficulty with problem solving. These usually do not cause major enough issues to interfere with everyday life like dementia does. Sometimes people with MCI just need a little extra assistance to complete more demanding tasks.
Most people see a gradual decline in cognitive functions as they age, but people with MCI suffer from a greater decline in their mental abilities, but again, not severe enough to be considered dementia.
Not everyone who has MCI is going to develop dementia, but people with MCI do have a significantly greater chance of developing dementia. Various research methods including brain scans are being used to try to predict who is at risk for dementia so we can offer support and help at earlier stages of the process. Using these research efforts can help us detect changes in the brain structure and function that can lead us to understanding MCI and dementia more.
If you are concerned about your memory, it is best to see a neuropsychologist for an assessment. Diagnosing MCI can help identify people that are at a greater risk to develop dementia. This way we can offer support, advice and more information.
There are many things you can do try to try and prevent cognitive decline. Of course, age and genes play a factor in dementia, but there are preventive measures that can be taken. Living a healthy and active lifestyle is a good start. Stick to a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. Also, exercise your brain and don’t be afraid to learn new things. Read our blog to learn more about the benefits of new and novel learning.
By reading this blog, I acknowledge that I am not creating or entering a clinical or medical relationship with Dr. DenBoer and SMART Brain Aging. I understand that all materiel included in this blog is strictly for informational purposes only. The content is to provide me with information and knowledge and I will not substitute it for diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. I am aware the author does not hold a medical degree or license and is simply providing me additional information on a variety of health topics.