What Is MCI?
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition with memory or cognitive (thinking) changes that are more severe than normal aging, but less severe than dementia. Individuals with mild cognitive impairment have a clear change in cognitive abilities, but typically are able to remain independent in their daily activities.
The brain, like any other part of the body, ages and changes. Gradual decline in memory or focus may be normal. Consistently increasing decline may point to mild cognitive impairment. The patient’s family and friends may be the first to notice.
Mild cognitive impairment symptoms include:
- Forgetting things more often, including appointments
- Difficulty finding your way around an unfamiliar place or making plans
- Overwhelmed or find it difficult to learn new tasks
The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Neuroscience Institute Memory Center are at the leading edge of advances in caring for those with mild cognitive impairment.
More patients in Louisville and Southern Indiana trust Norton Neuroscience Institute with their neurological care than any other provider in the area. Patients find a comprehensive range of board-certified specialists who provide a diversity of viewpoints to develop a customized care plan for each patient.
Is Mild Cognitive Impairment Reversible?
In some cases cognition is impaired by an underlying condition such as sleep apnea, reaction to a medication, depression or other issues. Addressing these issues can lead to a restoration of cognitive abilities. Some who score just barely below normal on a cognition test can bounce back on a better day.
But in many cases, mild cognitive impairment is an indication the patient may develop dementia.
There are no drugs or treatments specifically to cure mild cognitive impairment. However, there are some lifestyle changes people can make to potentially reduce its effects, including:
- Stopping smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Managing high blood pressure
- Engaging in exercise
- Remaining socially and mentally active
How Fast Does Mild Cognitive Impairment Progress?
Mild cognitive impairment can progress differently in different individuals. In some cases symptoms may improve. In others the condition may remain relatively unchanged, and in still others symptoms may progress to a dementia.
Mild cognitive impairment often develops into a dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, but not always.
Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center offers resources to help families and individuals coping with mild cognitive impairment.