Mild Cognitive Impairment (or MCI) is defined as an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more pronounced decline of dementia. It involves problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than typical age-related changes1.
Population-based epidemiological studies have shown that in adults older than 65 years, the prevalence of MCI ranges from 3% to 19%. There is currently no proven treatment or therapy for MCI.
Although MCI can present with a variety of symptoms, when memory loss is the predominant symptom it is termed “amnestic MCI” and is frequently seen as an early stage of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Individuals diagnosed with MCI have a high likelihood to progress to AD or other forms of dementia at a rate of 10% – 15% per year2.
Differences in brain imaging between healthy individuals, individuals with MCI and AD patients are clearly visible in FDF_Pet scans3.
1. Petersen RC, Smith GE, Waring SC, Ivnik RJ, Tangalos EG, Kokmen E (1999). “Mild cognitive impairment: clinical characterization and outcome”. Arch. Neurol. 56 (3): 303–8.
2. Grundman M, Petersen RC, Ferris SH, et al. (2004). “Mild cognitive impairment can be distinguished from Alzheimer disease and normal aging for clinical trials”. Arch. Neurol. 61 (1): 59–66.
3. Wikipedia: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FDG-PET_brain_scan-normal-MCI-Alzheimers.jpg