July 29, 2010
Mild Cognitive Impairment, or MCI, is increasingly being used to describe a syndrome of memory impairment that does NOT significantly impact daily activities and is not accompanied by declines in overall cognitive function. Researchers have found that 6 percent to 25 percent of people with MCI progress to Alzheimer’s, which has raised questions about whether MCI might represent some kind of “transitional stage” between normal aging and dementia. In fact, many experts believe that MCI, as well as age-related memory loss, may always be an early form of Alzheimer’s, and progression to symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease may be only a matter of time. In some people, the progression may be very slow, so the person may die of other causes before displaying the full spectrum of Alzheimer’s symptoms. MCI is now recognized as a clinical condition that requires ongoing assessment and possibly treatment to delay its progression.