As people age, they may experience a waning in their cognitive abilities, including memory and thinking skills. However, if the changes are greater than the cognitive changes associated with normal aging, then there may be more at play.
Mild Cognitive Impairment or (MCI) is a descriptive syndrome rather than a specific condition or disease where an individual experiences mild but measurable changes in memory, language, thinking or judgement noticeable to the person affected and to family and friends.
Typically, changes in cognition are not significant enough to interfere with daily life =, but do increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's or another dementia. For the majority of people who have MCI, memory is the cognitive ability most affected.
However, not everyone diagnosed with MCI goes on to develop Alzheimer’s, rather some people remain stable and others may even show an improvement in cognitive abilities over time.
Mild cognitive impairment is a categorized as a clinical diagnosis. A medical professional determines the presence or absence of MCI by evaluating a person’s cognitive and behavioural changes, and using professional judgement about the possible causes and severity of the symptoms.
People diagnosed with MCI have different patterns of symptoms with many possible underlying causes, often leading to many unanswered questions. It is important to seek out information, education and support in order to help live with this condition effectively.
Whether MCI, dementia or Alzheimer's, try to focus on and nurturing current abilities without worrying about what might happen in the future.