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Alzheimer's Disease Versus Mild Cognitive Impairment

Tuesday, September 18 2012 10:55 PM

Just because you may have a tendency to be forgetful doesn’t necessarily mean you have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. You may have mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

What is mild cognitive impairment?

MCI is associated with typical memory changes caused by aging. MCI increases your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias; however, some people with MCI never experience further decline.

MCI is similar to age-related memory loss and usually does not interfere with a person’s daily life. People with MCI often recognize that their mental function has declined, but the decline is usually not severe enough to interfere with daily activities.   

Types of mild cognitive impairment

There are two types of MCI: amnesic and non-amnesic. Amnesic MCI is more common than non-amnesic MCI. Amnesic MCI is characterized by memory problems. Symptoms may include forgetting about important appointments or missing events that you had planned to attend.

Non-amnesic MCI is characterized by impaired thinking and challenges with planning, organizing or judgment. Symptoms may include having trouble making plans or problem solving.

Key facts about mild cognitive impairment

  • It can be difficult to diagnose.  
  • There is no standardized/conclusive way to know if a person has MCI.
  • The underlying cause of MCI is yet to be determined.
  • It is unclear why some people with MCI develop Alzheimer’s disease and others do not.
  • There is no proven treatment for MCI.

If you are diagnosed with MCI, you should be re-evaluated regularly by your doctor in order to determine if there are changes in your symptoms. Click here to learn more about mild cognitive impairment.

By Michelle Kutner, CSW, MSW, CTRS
Specialty Service Consultant
Source: www.good-sam.com

Click here to view the original article

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