Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

What is Mild Cognitive Impairment?

Individuals who have mild cognitive impairment experience minimal memory loss and they may have episodes of unclear thinking. People who have this form of memory loss can still perform their daily activities and they do not require a caregiver.

Those who have mild cognitive impairment usually realize they are having problems with their memory, so they often write important reminders down on paper. The cause of this condition is not completely known but it may be caused by the same types of issues with the brain that is responsible for dementia. These include a reduction of blood traveling to the brain, numerous mini-strokes and ventricle expansion.

What are the Symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment?

There are two distinct types of mild cognitive impairment symptoms and they are called amnestic and nonamnestic.

Amnestic symptoms include

The loss of memory, such as forgetting a person’s name or failing to remember an appointment.

Nonamnestic symptoms include

Cause problems making wise decisions and they lack organizational skills.

Individuals who are diagnosed with MCI should visit a medical professional once or twice every year for testing to make sure the condition is not getting worse. It is possible that individuals who have MCI may be in the early stages of  Alzheimer’s disease.

How is Mild Cognitive Impairment Treated?

Since there is no medical treatment for mild cognitive impairment, it is recommended that individuals make some changes in their daily habits to try and slow down the advancement of their memory loss.

Treatments include

Getting daily exercise, which helps to improve cardiovascular health, and eating nutritious meals that include lean protein, vegetables, fruits and grains. It is also suggested that individuals should routinely challenge and stimulate their mind by engaging in mental and social activities. Examples of these types of activities include working crossword puzzles and conversing with other people.

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Last Reviewed:
September 21, 2016
Last Updated:
August 31, 2017