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
Birks J, Flicker L. Donepezil for mild cognitive impairment. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006;3:CD006104.
DeKosky ST, Williamson JD, et al. Ginko biloba for prevention of dementia: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2008;300(19):2306-2308.
Feldman HH, Jacova C. Mild cognitive impairment. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2005;13(8):645-655.
Gauthier S, Reisberg B, et al. Mild cognitive impairment. Lancet. 2006;367(9518):1262-1270.
Institute for the Study of Aging and International Longevity Center–USA (March 2001). Achieving and Maintaining Cognitive Vitality With Aging: A Workshop Report. New York, NY.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated May 3, 2017. Accessed October 2, 2017.
Petersen RC. Mild cognitive impairment: Current research and clinical implications. Semin Neurol. 2007;27(1):22-31.
Petersen RC, Roberts RO, et al. Mild cognitive impairment: Ten years later. Arch Neurol. 2009;66(12):1447-1455.
Petersen RC, Smith GE, et al. Mild cognitive impairment: clinical characterization and outcome. Archives of Neurology. 1999;56(3):303-308.
Last reviewed September 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 9/30/2013
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.