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 (AD). MCI-AT only involves problems with memory. Dementia and Alzheimer's involve loss of other cognitive abilities, such as:
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.
These risk factors increase your chance of developing MCI-AT. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:
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:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. The doctor may also talk with family members and caregivers. A physical exam will be done.
If you have this condition, you should have your cognitive abilities tested regularly.
Treatment is focused on:
Researchers are currently studying the effects that several medicines may have on slowing cognitive decline. Examples include donepezil , vitamin E, galantamine (Razadyne), among others. In some cases, low doses of lithium may be prescribed.
The following topics are being studied as ways to reduce the risk of cognitive decline:
American Psychiatric Association
National Institute on Aging
The Alzheimer Society of Canada
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Last reviewed March 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 03/15/2013