Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mild Cognitive Impairment 101

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation
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Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is now widely but inconsistently used to describe a broad range of cognitive states. While there may not yet be a universally accepted definition, there is adequate consensus that MCI describes the space on the cognitive continuum between "Normal" and "Demented". Recall from an earlier post (Dementia 101) that a person does not meet the clinical definition of dementia until their impairment is severe enough to interfere with their social or occupational function. From this definition, the need arose to describe the situation when a person is beginning to lose function but the deficits are still subtle and not yet severe enough to meet the criteria for "dementia". To address that need, researchers at the Mayo Clinic constructed the term Mild Cognitive Impairment which has been quickly, if not uniformly, adopted in the scientific community.

As with dementia, Mild Cognitive Impairment is not a diagnosis and not something that must be treated. It is merely a symptom of some underlying medical condition such as depression, Parkinson's Disease, Vitamin B-12 deficiency, early stage Alzheimer's Disease, etc.

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A better understanding and more awareness of Alzheimer's related issues can impact personal health decisions and generate significant impact across a population of aging individuals. Please use the share buttons below to spread this educational message as widely as possible.

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