Mild Cognitive Impairment
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is a clinical condition in which someone has some problems with their mental abilities (i.e. memory, language, thinking, judgement, and ability to way find) that are greater than what we would expect with normal aging. However, the symptoms are not necessarily progressive and with some adaptive behaviours (i.e. use of lists, reminders, etc.) the symptoms are not severe enough to interfere significantly with activities of daily life. MCI is not the same as a diagnosis of dementia, which is progressive and does interfere with activities of daily life (e.g. managing finances or medications, shopping, driving etc.).
While MCI is not a type of dementia, some people who have MCI will go on to develop dementia. People with MCI are at a higher risk of developing dementia, with 10 to 15% of people with MCI developing dementia each year. It’s important to note that some people with MCI never get worse, and do not develop Alzheimer’s disease. Current studies find that approximately half of the people diagnosed with MCI will experience continued progression of the symptoms, leading to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or a similar dementia.
Many people who are diagnosed with MCI use this as an opportunity to change their lifestyle for the better and reduce their chances of MCI progressing to dementia.